Inquisitive teen dedicated to polocrosse and horses
NICHOLAS David Muller was a kind and gentle young man with impeccable manners and a cheeky smile.
He had a dry sense of humour and an insatiable thirst for knowledge.
But most importantly he was a son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and mate.
He was taken way too soon from all those who knew and loved him, in a tragic accident on September 21, at just 17 years of age.
Nick, as he was affectionately known, was the eldest son of Ross and Lisa Muller, of Clifton, and big brother and mate to Sam, Angus and Hamish.
He was born in St Vincent's Hospital, Toowoomba, on June 16, 1995 - the coldest June day on record.
Nick was just over two years old when brother Sam arrived, and after a couple of years they shared a room together.
Then 1999 and 2002 also saw the arrival of brothers Angus and Hamish.
Nick was so proud of them and loved running down the halls of the hospital to visit them.
When the Muller family moved out to Clifton, Nick attended Ryeford State School for his primary years.
He was school captain in Year 7, and was involved in everything.
He began Year 8 at Toowoomba Grammar School in 2008, and absolutely loved his time at Grammar.
Nick was a solid student - a merit prize in Year 8 meant he was one up on his dad.
Teachers would remark and commend him always on his work ethic and manner.
Outside of academics, Nick's other passion was polocrosse.
He was destined to ride a horse - his mum Lisa, being from a property, felt it important to teach her boys respect, discipline and dedication in looking after an animal.
This was not easy with boys but, as Nick showed in later years, his mother's persistence had won through.
He started out with his first pony, Missy, while still living in Toowoomba.
Riding became a larger part of Nick's life when the family moved out to their Clifton farm.
He adored his horses and played his first polocrosse for the Clifton club.
He then played for Tansey earlier this year.
With a new horse Benson, in 2009, Nick announced to his parents that he wanted to trial for the Queensland side.
They had their reservations but felt he should be encouraged even though they wondered if he was a little out of his depth.
He rose to the occasion, chosen as a reserve for the 2010 Ballarat Nationals and Albury Junior Championships … and his passion grew stronger.
This year, in Year 12, saw the turning of a boy into a young man.
A trip to Turkey with the school gave Nick his wings.
He'd made sure he brought back thoughtful presents for his family - pashmina scarves for Lisa, genuine Turkish hats for his brothers, and a snow globe for Hamish.
With his typical dry sense of humour, he laughed and smiled as he told of the salt lakes they had visited and the special soap they made.
"This stuff is apparently good at helping your hair grow, Dad," Nick said, handing his father not one but two cakes.
He seemed to have grown up so much in those three weeks away.
This continued with his approach to school work.
He became driven and he had a plan which included motivational notes for his OP.
He would study until all hours in the night and his family fondly remembers him in the afternoon still in his school clothes, sprawled diagonally across his bed sound asleep.
A very thoughtful and thorough planning of his polocrosse season took place.
Nick understood, above all, the importance of school, but at the same time, his commitment to his new club and his love of the sport.
Nick's family would like to thank the Tansey Polocrosse Club for the opportunities they gave Nick - the belief they had in him and their willingness to help him improve.
Nick never stopped asking questions.
He would ask questions because he genuinely wanted to hear the answer.
He wanted to know how you had been and what you had been doing.
He wanted to know how things worked and why. He had a big beautiful inquiring mind.
Every little piece of information he garnered had its place.
As his polocrosse mate Jack Mantova recalls, he would spend his time on Friday night at carnivals checking the draw, asking lots of questions and working out who they would play and who they would meet later in the carnival, if results went as planned.
He prided himself on knowing the names of everyone's horses and he could talk to people of all ages.
Nick dreamt of careers and places to study, including aeronautical engineering, computer programming or - his dad's favourite - working for the Australian Secret Intelligence Service.
He recently spoke of taking a gap year to play polocrosse, and then going to Sydney University to study with one of his mates, Henry.
Nick was a kind big-hearted fella and he loved his family and friends.
He was a true friend to his mates - one you could always depend on.
A good life is when you assume nothing, do more, smile often, dream big, laugh a lot and realise how blessed you are for what you have.
That certainly was how Nick lived his life.
His life was short, but it was happy and full of adventure, from his wonderful family holidays and his exciting polocrosse weekends, to his thrilling overseas adventure on his school trip to Turkey.
Nick could have been anything but most importantly he was everything that he wanted to be.
His passing in a car accident has left a void in our lives that will be impossible to fill.
We will all miss him greatly.
a family friend