Tom Forrest might not be a household name to most over the age of 30, but ask any recent high-school grad, and chances are they know him as ‘The Kununurra Kid’.
Tom made his television debut on the ABC’s ‘My Year 12 Life’ and has gone onto feature in a new iview series following his journey around Australia. Fortunately, Tom was determined to include Margaret River as a pit-stop on his road trip, and episode four beautifully captures the heart of the surfing community that is so iconic to the region.
With Tom identifying as Italian and Aboriginal – he questions his culture throughout the documentary. The bush kid was raised by a teenage single mum, and an absent Dad, and has survived paycheck to rent-day since he was 16, all the while putting himself through school without any help. As Tom would tell you – ‘s**t happens in life’, but he reckons it’s what you learn from it and how you act that matters.
The series will be released on July 8th coinciding with NAIDOC week and features a few local legends from the region. Artist Troy Bennell provides some inspiration through a paintbrush and canvas – teaching Tom that his connection to land is important in searching for his identity. He also takes a surfing lesson with local instructor Max Alcock from Margaret River Surf School, and 1970s photography icon Ric Chan takes him out on the water to capture some surfing shots.