Childhood dream now coming true

Daniel Kay says he has been fascinated with Australia since he was a child.

Daniel Kay says he has been fascinated with Australia since he was a child.

Daniel, a born and bred American, will solidify his love of Australia on Sunday when he becomes an Australian citizen at a ceremony at Colac Otway Performing Arts and Cultural Centre.

Daniel said he immersed himself in Australian culture from a young age.

“As a young boy I loved Australia. My grandmother was a travel agent and I had expressed to her that I had an interest in Australia, and she gave me all these books and flyers on Australia,” he said.

“I decorated my room with pictures of Ayers Rock and Sydney Opera House and Aboriginal art; I had an Australian flag in my bedroom since I was young boy.

“The Boy Scouts that I was part of were doing a World Jamboree in Australia, and I was desperate to get here for that.”

Daniel finally got to Australia in 2001, spending a year down under through his work with Cirque Du Soleil.

“I was with them for eight years in marketing; I came out with the show Alegria in 2001 and we travelled to the five major cities which was cool, and again in 2005 with Quidam,” he said.

Daniel said he met his wife Merri on the Quidam tour, and the pair got married in Las Vegas where their first daughter Maya, 8, was born in 2009.

“My wife’s Australian, and when we had our first daughter, Maya, we decided that probably it’s not a great place to raise children in Las Vegas, so we decided to make the move back in 2010,” he said.

The couple’s second daughter Sofia, 5, was born in Melbourne in 2012.

Daniel said he wanted to manage a tourist attraction when he moved to Australia after a successful publicist campaign for the launch of the Grand Canyon’s skywalk placed him in high demand for managing positions in the States.

A general manager position came up at the Otway Fly, and Daniel took it, moving his family to Apollo Bay about four years ago.

The Kays now manage Trees Adventure at Yeodene.

“The Otways are a beautiful place; it rains a lot, and coming from where I grew up in Arizona where it rains probably the same amount but just in a couple of days, it’s very different,” he said.

For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.

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