Bullying is certainly a pet hate of mine and I have spent many hours in recent years
visiting schools and educating kids that they must treat everyone with respect and
that it is never okay to taunt or tease another person, let alone to harm them
Bullies are essentially cowards and no child, or indeed NOBODY, regardless of age,
should have to live in fear or another person (or group) threatening or abusing them
physically, mentally, or both – be it at home, at school, on the street, on the
sportsfield or at the local shopping centre.
One man who is more than doing his bit to raise awareness about bullying in the
community is Melbourne’s Ahmet Oruc, the driving force behind a brand new
Facebook podcast called The Aydin Show.
“Bullying can affect people of all ages, but many of us mainly associate with little kids in the school playground,” Ahmet said this week.
“But it also has devastating effects among a slightly older age group, the 15 to 23
“Statistics show that in Australia, suicide is the second leading cause of death to
young people in that age bracket…. and it’s just so sad, such a waste and so
Friday, March 20 marks National Bullying Day in Australia, and over the next few
weeks, in the lead-up to this date, Ahmet will be using his podcast to highlight what a terrible act bullying is, and that it’s time for us as responsible citizens – not just
Muslims but all caring members of society – to take action together.
“We have to let young people know that they are not alone….that there are people
they can turn to when the going gets tough, that things are never as bad as they first
appear and that there is always the hope of a positive future.”
Ahmet says he can clearly identify with a lot of the struggles that young people go
through and this is one of the reasons he is so eager to “help make a difference”.
“My background is Turkish but I am Melbourne born and bred, being raised in the
“I left school after Year 10 and when it came to work, I had no choice but to be pretty
competitive as regardless of the job I was in, I was always the youngest.
“I had some good jobs even as a teenager, working in sales and management in
mobile phones, back in the days when the market was really booming.
“I must admit that I was pretty good at the job and the boss must have thought so too
as he was concerned that I was earning too much,” Ahmet laughed.
“Another job I really enjoyed was bricklaying….being outdoors all day with the sun on your back….getting fitter and getting stronger – and being paid good money for it!
“And again, bricklaying was quite competitive, pitting your speed and your
workmanship against the other guys”
But life wasn’t always such a ‘bowl of cherries’ for Ahmet in his post-school years.
“I must admit, there were times when I went off track,” he continued.
“You make bad decisions, meet the wrong people and there were definitely some
“Some of my mates ended up in jail, and some even overdosed on drugs.
“There were times when I was bullied physically and abused verbally and I lost all of
my self-confidence as I didn’t have anybody to confide in…..there was nobody there
“So I decided to take up boxing and wrestling and that helped me build my confidence and I was able to deal with things when I really had my back to the wall.
The turning point in Ahmet’s life came when he met Betul, who is now his wife and
the mother of the couple’s three young children, all under the age of five – Malik, Elizah and Aydin.
“I owe so much of my success and where I am in my life today to Betul.
“I owe so much of my success and where I am in my life today to Betul.
“She believed in me and helped restore my positive mindset.
“She has an incredible knowledge of natural medicines and diets, and as well as
being an amazing wife and mother, she is a great life coach and a wonderful
Ahmet has recently gone back into the building game, completing his studies for his
builder’s licence and passing his exams with flying colours.
He and Betul are in the process of setting up their own company, Kaiser Homes and
the future is looking bright for the affable 34 year old.
At present, much of his focus is concentrated on The Aydin Show, forking out a five
figure sum to set up the podcast studio.
Expanding on the name, Ahmet explained: “We called it The Aydin Show because in
Turkish, ‘Aydin’ means educated, intellectual and enlightened, while in Arabic, the
same word means power and strength.
“We definitely feel our show will prove to be educational and enlightening and that
viewers will walk away feeling empowered.”
Watching The Aydin Show’s first podcast in which Ahmet interviewed deep sea diver
Adem Temel about the best locations to go diving and spearfishing in Victoria, the host seems to be quite a natural in his new role.
He does have some ‘media experience’ to fall back on, though many years ago!
“My father was a presenter on Turkish community radio back in the day, and every
show, kids were invited to read from the Qur’an or sing.
“I was a big fan of Yusuf Islam, a famous British singer best known by his stage name
Cat Stevens, and a revert to Islam later in his life.
“He had some beautiful songs and one night my dad convinced me to sing one of his
songs on the radio….it was quite a surreal experience and apparently the show got
some amazing feedback from listeners about it!
“As an adult, I’ve always enjoyed being involved in blogging as I love communicating
with people and discovering new things.
“Setting up a podcast is a big step and I am still learning but it’s already proving to be
a very satisfying and enjoyable exercise.“The Aydin Show is for Muslims and non-Muslims alike and we want to feature stories on successful people who have a story to tell and want to share it for the benefit of others…..business people, entrepreneurs, sportsmen and women and religious folk.
“We already have a number of very inspirational speakers lined up over the coming
weeks and months and would love it if you could find the time in your busy schedule to join us one day too, brother Steve.”
The Aydin Show’s podcasts can be viewed on Facebook and Ahmet’s next guest is
Brazilian martial arts Black Belt Murat Karadenizli, a second degree black belt in Jiu
Jitsu and now the trainer of some prodigiously talented fighters in Melbourne.
Already a wonderful role model and mentor, Murat is also generously volunteering his time as one of Ahmet’s ‘go to’ men, to be accessible and to help and advise young
people who may be struggling in the leadup to National Bullying Day.
A high profile property developer who is well known for helping people in their careers will also be coming on board to share some of his experiences in business….the highs and the lows, the successes and the failures.
“Two other sportsmen I would love to interview down the track are New Zealand dual football code international Sonny Bill Williams and Israel Folau, who represented Australia in both league and union and also had a stint in the AFL with the GWS Giants,” Ahmet revealed.
“Of course, Sonny Bill is one of world sport’s highest profile reverts to Islam and was
such an inspirational and comforting figure in the aftermath of the tragic Christchurch Mosques shootings last March.
“Both Sonny Bill and Israel Folau are currently committed to playing rugby league in
the English SuperLeague so the opportunity to interview either or both may be
several months away but if the opportunity arises, we will gratefully accept it.”
But in the meantime, Ahmet and his colleagues Jemal Hasan, Burak Sarman and the
afore-mentioned Murak Karadenizli are working hard to raise awareness for National Bullying Day and reaching out to anyone who feels sad or alone, or just needs someone to talk to.
So please remember the date – Friday March 20 – and if YOU know anyone whom
you think maybe the victim of bullying, or is in any other way isolated or lonely, try and reach out to them yourself.
You could be saving a life without even knowing it.