Risen from the ashes

Published on 11 March 2024

Kadin Berry - Photo Credit Fee Powell Photography

18-year-old Brisbane local Kadin Berry is gearing up for the Rockynats 04 free street parade on Good Friday (29 March) after a tragic start in 2023 when his 1946 Chevy Pick Up burned down on the Bruce Highway on the way to the event.


As an avid motorsport enthusiast from a young age, Kadin has been attending the events since 2021 and dreamt of following in his father’s footsteps to compete in the Rockynats competition but was faced with challenges when his car caught fire on the highway. Still, that didn’t stop him from showing up at the parade with the burnt Chevy Pick Up on a trailer.


Nine months later, Kadin has rebuilt the car from scratch thanks to the support of local businesses and the community, and says he is excited to take on the street parade to show off and share his achievement with attendees.


“I’ve always had an interest in cars. Ever since I was a baby, I used to sit in the garage with my dad, so I have a pretty good understanding of how cars work. Here I am, super pumped to enter my own car into the show – it’s a dream come true,” Kadin said.


“Last year was supposed to be the first time I participated, but I was absolutely devastated when things took a turn for the worse on the way to the event; everything was ruined in the fire.


“I wasn’t going to let this get me down, though. It only took nine months for me to rebuild the car with the support of the wonderful Rockhamton community and a few local businesses, and excited to say it’s even better than last year, so I’m looking forward to getting amongst the fun,” he said.


According to Kadin, the event is more than just the cars – it’s the community and atmosphere that makes the event so successful. He knows this firsthand when local businesses and the Rockhampton community supported him to get his Chevy Pick Up back on the road.


“We were absolutely blown away with responses from the community showing their support after my dad made a post about the incident on Facebook. Everyone wanted to donate money to help me get back on my feet,” Kadin said.


“We left a donations bucket next to the burnt car at the 2023 event and managed to raise $5,000, which is more than I could have ever asked for.


“I have so much to be thankful for – I absolutely love the atmosphere, the people and how the community always comes together. Plus, I get to spend some time with my family. It’s a tradition for us, and I’m especially grateful this year. This is why I’m dedicating the new car build to last year’s event with a special engraving on the intake manifold that reads, ‘Thanks to the people of Rockynats 03’,” he said.


Advance Rockhampton Tourism and Events Manager Zac Garven said people like Kadin make the event what it is.


“The sheer determination and enthusiasm from Kadin is truly inspiring. It makes me proud to see the involvement and support of the Rockhampton community, proving that the event is meaningful from a broader perspective,” Mr Garven said.


“2024 is shaping up to be our biggest and most popular event yet, and I’m excited to see the efforts from participants like Kadin pay off.”


The Street Parade will be free for all Rockynats attendees and locals are encouraged to get involved and support Kadin on Friday, 29 March. 


For more information on the event or to purchase tickets, visit https://www.rockynats.com.au/Tickets.  Follow www.facebook.com.au/rockynatsfestival and www.instagram.com/rockynats for key event announcements.