Teed up to stop bullying

Tee Mac

Troy “Tee Mac” prides himself on being an unconventional motivational speaker.

The heavily tattooed former gang member turned musician is on a mission to help kids achieve their goals.

Tee Mac, his stage name, is spreading his positive message by coaching a Sunbury youth basketball team on Saturdays – but he wants to take his anti-bullying program into schools throughout the west.

The Melton resident is calling on schools and the council to talk more about bullying and gang culture.

He said that his efforts to promote the program in more than 200 schools in the west has been met with resistance.

“I’ve been trying my hardest to get the program into the schools but it’s almost as if nobody wants to admit that there is a problem,” Tee Mac said.

“You can’t get someone in to talk to these kids if they haven’t lived through it. You need someone like me, who knows what it’s like.

“I want young people to know that they are not alone and there’s always someone that you can turn to and it doesn’t have to be in gangs.”

Tee Mac joined a gang between the ages of 17 to 22 in Broadmeadows after being bullied through school. It was only through music and self belief that he decided to turn his life around, he said.

“The idea came about through my life experiences,” Tee Mac said.

“I had been bullied all throughout primary school and high school and eventually I found myself in the wrong crowd when I left high school.

“I felt accepted by them … but I was fortunate enough not to get into any trouble.

“When I was in my early 20s my best mate died in a basketball accident and it made me think that I have to do something positive with my life because you never know how long you’ve got.”

The main aim of Tee Mac’s program is to teach kids to stay on a positive path.

“I took on music and ended up touring around Australia, America and Europe,” he said.

“If I can survive the loss of my best friend, my first daughter, my father and my pop who was a second father to me … and still go on to achieve my goals, then I want to help kids do the same.

“If I can inspire kids to achieve what they want to achieve … it will be worth it.”