The Eardley family moved to Perth from the UK in 1997. Cam was 3 and Kai just 18 months. The boys started school at the East Fremantle Primary School and Joey was born soon after in 1999.
It was quickly realized that sport and outdoor recreation, fishing, swimming, surfing and footy would be the family’s passion. The family enjoyed exploring the coastline of WA, taking many a road trip to the south-west and up to Broome and Karajini. Also, keen to experience the winter sports, they explored the South Island of New Zealand, and the snow fields of Niseko and Hakuba in Japan.
Often, other families joined and it was a haze of boys, rods, surfing and boarding equipment, backed up with a hefty supply of food.
All the boys took a turn of skateboarding. Amidst an array of broken bones and skin wounds, Kai seemed to be on the receiving end of many of these, but was never deterred.
Twenty years on, Kai’s suicide changed the family’s lives forever. He was studying at Notre Dame, and struggling with the demands of growing up.
“I still consider myself the mother of 3 boys,” says Claire. “One will always be my eternal, spirited 20-year-old, the boy too good for us all”. She believes Kai would want all his family to lead the best life they are capable of; and that drives her forward every day. “I want to be Kai’s legacy, his voice and to honor his life by living again. I love and miss him every minute of every hour, but I know I will see him again, and he will be proud of what we have achieved. Cam, Joey and Jasmyn [Kai’s girlfriend] have also continued to strive to be best they can be, and I am so proud of them for that.”
The family’s mission is to create a positive change for the mental health of the youth of today. The Fremantle Foundation allows the Eardley family to effectively give back to the local community and to be involved with how funds raised are disbursed.