FIGHTER IN THE FACE OF TRAGEDY

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Lifestyle -

www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d436764 AS a young child, Neil Coyne and his sib­lings were taken from the care of his al­co­holic mother.

The Cloverdale res­i­dent had his early years scarred by vi­o­lence and emo­tional ne­glect.

In his new­est doc­u­men­tary Coyne ex­am­ines how this has af­fected his life.

He stars in Fighter, one of two doc­u­men­taries that will make up se­ries two of From The West­ern Fron­tier.

From The West­ern Fron­tier is a doc­u­men­tary se­ries fea­tur­ing the work of West Aus­tralian in­dige­nous doc­u­men­tary di­rec­tors and writ­ers.

It fea­tures the in­di­vid­ual sto­ries of ev­ery­day in­dige­nous Aus­tralians who have a unique and in­spi­ra­tional story to tell and Fighter is Coyne’s story.

Three years af­ter the fam­ily was torn apart, his mother was able to over­come her ad­dic­tion to al­co­hol and was re­united with her fam­ily.

Th­ese days, Coyne is a proud fam­ily man living in Cloverdale.

He was also West­ern Australia’s first Abo­rig­i­nal pro-wrestler, known as N C Viper.

He was in the game for more than seven years be­fore dark­ness came upon him and this is where his lat­est story started.

In the last 18 months, both his older brother and mother died un­ex­pect­edly.

The deaths pushed Coyne into a down­ward spi­ral of apathy and de­pres­sion.

He be­came with­drawn and stopped com­mu­ni­cat­ing with his kids.

“I stopped talk­ing to any­one, stopped an­swer­ing the phone and didn’t want to wres­tle,” he said.

“The doc­u­men­tary is very emo­tional and in­volves a lot of my fam­ily… it is one of my favourites.”

Coyne recog­nised he had not over­come the trauma of his child­hood and be­gan to draw in­spi­ra­tion from his mother’s ex­am­ple.

He re­alised that he needed to make a come­back for the sake of his fam­ily.

“I looked a lot into who I was, and how I was a lot like my mum,” he said.

“There is a lot about her in this doc­u­men­tary.”

The doc­u­men­tary is a no-holds-barred ex­plo­ration of one man’s battle to over­come tragedy and to find the courage to be a fighter.

From The West­ern Fron­tier will screen on NITV at 7.30pm on May 24 and 31.

Pic­ture: David Baylis

Neil Coyne will ap­pear in a doc­u­men­tary called Fighter, sched­uled to be screened on NITV next month.

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