After 10 years of 4am wake ups, Triple M Sydney’s Gus Worland unplugged his microphone after nine years as part of The Grill Team and one final year as part of the Moonman in the Morning team, so that he could invest more time in his new life’s mission, his charity Gotcha4Life.
Worland created the Gotcha 4 Life Foundation in 2017 and its aim is to address the issues around men’s mental health and the unhealthy culture that teaches boys and men to not express how they are feeling. This is an issue near and dear to Worland’s heart as he lost his lifelong mentor and close friend Angus Roberts to suicide. Losing Roberts inspired Worland’s involvement in the ABC-TV documentary series Man Up which highlighted the stoicism and isolation that contributes to the culture of men not wanting to ask for help with their emotions.
“Once Man Up was shot I knew that it was going to become something that was much more than a job,” Worland told Mediaweek. “Men in Australia are just hopeless at doing certain things and I wanted to help blokes out and Gotcha4Life was born.”
Worland didn’t anticipate how much the foundation would need him once it was created but it was becoming harder and harder to balance his two passions, The Grill Team and Gotcha4Life. In 2018 Matty Johns announced that he was leaving the Triple M breakfast show which followed the exit of Mark Geyer in 2017.
“When the Gotcha4Life programs were set up I thought we are right now, but then all of a sudden people started to need me a little more and I was starting to feel slightly jet-lagged in the mornings from going to schools and staying up late at night talking to blokes or going to conferences. I didn’t know if I could keep doing both much longer and this was when all the Triple M changes where happening and it just seemed right. I did miss it and I felt very sad initially I must admit.”
When talking about The Grill Team you can still hear the love in Worland’s voice as he waxes lyrical about working with Johns, Geyer, and Chris Page, and he says while he thinks sport can still thrive in a breakfast show format, you need to have the right talent.
“Talent like MG and Matty are hard to find so I think when they decided to move on and do different things and not wake up at 3:30 in the morning Triple M went ‘Right, we haven’t got another Matty Johns so let’s see what the next big thing is,’ and that was Lawrence Mooney. Lawrence is obviously much more focused on comedy and that’s when they decided to make the change, and it was a big change and obviously that was hard for me initially. I was in my last year and was wondering where I fit in, but in the end, it was just my foundation and Gotcha4Life that needed me and it was nice to be able to go and stay part of the Triple M family with Dead Set Legends and go back to what I’m happiest doing which is talking about sport.”
Worland is now 14 kilos lighter and able to do the thing that he loves while also staying part of the Triple M family through his new Saturday show Dead Set Legends.
When asked about his bucket list he said that he wants to contribute to changing the rules about what it means to be a man in Australian society while having fun and being able to mix in his passion of sport.
“After working with Steve Smith for a year, going to all the schools with him and him being vulnerable, I realised there is such a thin line between people that are healthy and perhaps going through some stuff. I want to help set some new rules about what it takes to be a man in Australia and combine a bit of fun and sport with that particular message.”
Tomorrow: Gus Worland talks the new Dead Set Legends