Living in grandfather's honour

Becoming a Reservist has changed Jon Chemello’s life.
Becoming a Reservist has changed Jon Chemello’s life. Mairi Manley

IF you are tearing your hair out over the behaviour of your teenage son or daughter be assured there is hope.

Jon Chemello is proof of that.

The self-confessed ratbag has no qualms about revealing his reckless teens and is only-too-keen to tell the world how his grandfather and the Australian Army Reserves changed his life.

Shortly before dying of lung cancer, Aldo Chemello took his grandson aside and gave him a pep talk.

He told him the Italian tradition was for a young man to knuckle down at an early age.

But he had different advice.

"Don't waste your life working for nothing and ruining your health," he said.

"Get out in the world.

"Don't die working."

The death of his grandfather hit him hard, but Jon literally took his words to heart, along with a tattoo of his mentor.

He bears a photo quality image of Aldo on his chest.

"I loved him dearly and respected him immensely," Mr Chemello said.

"I joined the Army Reserves, put my hand up for overseas service and have been to the Solomon's and East Timor in the space of four years.

"It has changed my life.

"I'm no longer that ratbag.

"I am self- confident, skilled and responsible."

"He's a changed young man," said grandmother, Donna Chemello.

"The family is very proud of him."

The trained rifleman and peacekeeper has his sights set on becoming a firefighter.

"I want a chance to be heroic," he said.

"To save lives would be a great thing."

He has made many strong friendships as a reservist and formed strong bonds with young kids he met in East Timor.

He mentors local kids in need, taking them camping and spending one-on-one time with them.

"I was a rebellious kid," he said.

"My parents must be very relieved to see that I turned out okay."

Topics:  east timor solomon islands teenagers youth

Don't close the gates on our history

NOT HAPPY: The Gillespie clan want to see the original Glengallan Homestead gates returned to the historical site. Pictured: Barbara Gaden, Susan Gaden, Adam Bayes, Sarah Bayes, Julia Gilroy, Jill Wrathcall, Peter Ryall, Jenny McMurray and Bob Gaden.

Calls are being made to return the Glengallan Homestead gates.

The case of the wandering Shetland Pony

The Warwick Pound.

Now, she wants to know, is it yours?

Massive closing down sale at RM Williams Warwick

Today is the last day RM Williams will be open in Warwick.

Local Partners

Australia Day Award nominations now open

ALL those who know someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the Warwick community is encouraged to nominate them for an Australia Day Award.

Former Split Enz front man Tim Finn finds new niche

Singer Tim Finn has written the music for theatre production Ladies in Black.

Musician finds his way to theatre

Former Warwick State High student is second

Victorian rider and former Warwick High student Lee Kimber (right) goes for his beast at the Warwick Rodeo.

Former Warwick High student to compete in national finals

13 things to do on the Southern Downs this weekend

Darcy Meek (left) is the early leader in parkrun on Saturday before being first man home.

Photo Gerard Walsh / Warwick Daily News

Here's a list of 13 things to do this weekend.

Azealia Banks won't take legal action against Russell Crowe

Rapper Azealia Banks

Rapper drops legal action against Russell Crowe

Brad Pitt meets with his kids amid divorce proceedings

Actor Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt has met up with his oldest son Maddox

Pictures of Taylor Swift allegedly being groped are sealed

They could "complicate jury selection".

Bruce Springsteen finds therapy useful

Singer Bruce Springsteen

Singer encourages others to seek help

Kerry Washington wants one more child

Kerry Washington recently gave birth to her second child

Kerry has only just become a new mum again

TRAVEL: Musicals light up Sydney

David Campbell performs in Dream Lover.

We take a trip through one of Sydney's finer scenes

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track