WHO IS DANIEL CLOSE?
I grew up in a ‘close-knit’ family with Mum, Dad and two brothers in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, but where we were given absolutely no choice but to support the Western Bulldogs! We still head along to the footy every weekend together and up until 2018, when my son was born and I got married, 2016 had been the best year in my life.
I’m now father to a beautiful boy, Charlie, and husband to an incredible wife, Shannon. I’m a recently retired amateur footballer and should be better at golf considering how much I play.
In 2011 I was diagnosed with epilepsy. It was certainly a shock at the time and an illness I have been learning to deal with ever since.
WHAT DOES YOUR ROLE AT SHARP & CARTER ENTAIL?
I’m a Partner of our Accounting Clerical division at Sharp & Carter and personally have over 8 years’ experience recruiting within the industry. We have an awesome team that have been together for quite a while now recruiting accounts payable, receivable and payroll positions all over Melbourne. My role is still very much involved with the day to day recruiting for our clients. However, making sure the staff in our team have a fulfilling and enjoyable career working for Sharp & Carter is also paramount to my role.
WHAT INTERESTS AND HOBBIES DO YOU HAVE OUTSIDE OF WORK?
My main love outside of work is spending time with my amazing little boy Charlie who is only 6 months old, and my wife Shannon who I only married a few weeks ago!
Apart from that, I really enjoy all sports, a fit and active lifestyle and spending time with friends and family on the weekend.
YOU RECENTLY UNDERTOOK A “YEAR WITHOUT BEER” - CAN YOU TELL US YOUR PURPOSE BEHIND THIS ENDEAVOR?
Our ‘Year Without Beer’ campaign was an idea my brothers, Josh and Brendan and I came up with in October 2017. Collectively, we decided to abstain from all forms of alcohol for 12 months and whilst doing this, our aim was to raise both money and awareness for the Epilepsy Foundation.
Our Mum, Jennie, also suffers from the condition so it is one that is very close to our hearts. On top of that, alcohol consumption has been proven to be a seizure trigger for epileptics, so we thought it was a pretty good idea!
TALK US THROUGH YOUR JOURNEY FROM WHEN YOU STARTED TO HOW YOU FEEL NOW AFTER A YEAR WITH NO BEER?
Prior to commencing the journey, our initial goal was to hopefully raise some awareness, raise a little bit of money from friends and family and obviously to not give in to temptation throughout the year! It left us feeling very healthy as a result!
Incredibly, after the first 24 hours, we had already raised $3,500 (the Epilepsy Foundation called us thinking it was a hoax!) and I think it was at that point that we realised we could do something special.
Fast forward 12 months and we were able to raise $55,000 for the cause which was an incredible result! What wasn’t expected was the rewarding new relationships, the level of interest from the community and the enjoyment we all got from completing the 12 months.
WHAT DID YOU FIND CHALLENGING THROUGHOUT THIS PROCESS?
Alcohol is such a common place in our culture. It was prevalent in nearly every social group in my life. Whether it’s outside of work with friends wanting to catch up on the weekend, at the local football club or at work with clients or colleagues for Friday night drinks, saying ‘no’ took a little while to get used to, but over time I started enjoying it more and thought about it less.
Over the course of the year, friends’ weddings, bucks’ parties and the Christmas period were all hurdles, but we got through them all in one piece. In actual fact, we found that once we started to gather momentum we really started to actually embrace these challenges.
DID YOU PARTICIPATE IN ANY ACTIVITIES INVOLVED IN RAISING AWARENESS FOR THE CAUSE? IF SO, CAN YOU ELABORATE?
Outside of the day to day fundraising, there were several activities we ran throughout the year.
Some of these included:
The Woodshed, Boss Gym & Live Fun Fit running personal training events
VAFA Football Club Swinburne participated in ‘Purple sock round’, which is the colour of the Epilepsy Foundation
Discussed our campaign on both podcast and radio
Completing the 2018 Melbourne Half Marathon
Josh, Brendan & I were ambassadors for the inaugural ‘Walk for Epilepsy’ in October
Local newspapers and the Herald Sun website published the story
Channel Nine News held an interview with us that aired on the Sunday night news
Finally, we hosted a ‘First Beers in a Year’ fundraiser that was held at the Albion Hotel in South Melbourne and was attended by over 200 people, including many of the staff from the Epilepsy Foundation.
This was our final fundraiser and we were able to raise $15,000 from that day alone!
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE DEALING WITH EPILEPSY THEMSELVES, OR WHO KNOWS SOMEONE WHO IS DEALING WITH THE CONDITION?
After being diagnosed with the condition in 2011, at times I’ve battled personally with the best way to handle it as some of the side effects can be quite debilitating.
People dealing with epilepsy speak of being confronted with depression, anxiety, constant fatigue and headaches to mention just a few debilitating health effects. These can make living a ‘normal’ lifestyle difficult.
The best way in which I’ve found to eliminate these is through communication with other people who have epilepsy or speaking with people that I love and trust such as family and friends.
If anyone was to read this that has epilepsy or knows someone who does and is unsure on how to best deal with it, I’m always happy to have a conversation with someone to try and help!
Partner - Accounting Clerical