Joel Samuel Abernethy was born at Port Fairy on December 31st, 1979. He attended Port Fairy Consolidated School (where his mum Wendy taught) and was a typical young boy, full of energy and purpose – enjoying his coastal environment, bike riding and exploring his own big back yard. He played footy, cricket and golf but skateboarding became his passion. Even at this age he had a great ‘ear’ and enjoyed picking out tunes on his Nana’s piano.
Aged twelve, Joel moved to Delegate NSW, a small town at the foothills of the Snowy Mountains. He attended Bombala High School until Year 11 and whilst not particularly academic, Joel enjoyed the real experiences of farm life – horses, dogs and outdoor adventures. Upon leaving school, Joel tried his hand at a variety of jobs, experiencing overseas travel with family and searching for a meaningful career. It was at secondary school that Joel expanded on his guitar playing and song writing, forming a band with friends and finding an outlet for his self expression and creativity in music.
Joel adored his younger brother Sam, ten years his junior. They were the best of mates. And he was adored by all his cousins. Joel was a handsome, charismatic, strong-willed young man with a great sense of humour and a sensitivity and perceptiveness towards others.
Joel died tragically on December 26th, 2010, whilst celebrating Christmas with family – five days before his 31st birthday.
Image: Joel (L) and his brother Sam (R)