Calvin and Demalza Henry have created a home environment which has an inherent, calming presence where each family member is encouraged to be whoever it is they want to be. On court, both Calvin and Demalza dominate the basketball and netball courts. Off court, they’re role models to Ethan, Paige, Harmony and little Miyah. Lauren Adcock sat down with the Henrys and chatted about the meaning of home and why planting permanent roots in Sunraysia is the right move. Pictures: Ben Gross
IT’S comfortable chaos in the household which six vibrant spirits call home.
Harmony rushes through the front door to have her photograph taken straight from winning a 400m race at athletics day.
Demalza and eldest daughter Paige sneak home from work in a lunch break and eagerly greet three-year-old Miyah.
The blended family gather around on the couch and sit down together for the first time all week.
Calvin is surrounded by the beautiful women in his life in a home where family is at the centre of everything.
Calvin has experienced many different versions of home over his lifetime.
He moved from the United States to Australia about six years ago to pursue a career in basketball with Mildura Heat.
“I was a little apprehensive at first, given that I’m from a big city and I came to a place that’s in the middle of nowhere. But I’m not a big go-out kind of person so it’s a nice and calm place to live,” Calvin says.
It quickly became apparent that Calvin would call Sunraysia home permanently after meeting his now wife Demalza.
To say Calvin and Demalza are proud of their family would be an understatement and life is about to become a little more crazy as they transition into their new home that’s currently being built.
“It’s always been a dream to build a house and we were able to make that start happening about a year ago,” Calvin says.
“It’s been a long process,” Demalza adds.
“We found land out near where we are renting now and love being in the sunniest part of town.”
When asked about their list of non-negotiables for the new home, Harmony chimed in without hesitation.
“A pool,” she says.
“All the girls will have a room each and it will be similar to what we have now,” Demalza says.
“We’re pretty set on having black, modern fixtures and knew what we wanted from the start.”
While each family member has their own unique personality traits, they’re mutually bonded by shared interests and a love for spending time together.
We’re all really close and have similar interests, from playing sport to liking the same music,” Paige says.
“We’re pretty homey people,” Demalza adds.
“It’s always nice when everyone is at home together. We all have different schedules and come home at various times, but Miyah particularly gets so excited when everyone is under the same roof. It’s like she hasn’t seen us in weeks.”
Time spent on Saturdays in the Henry household is usually fleeting between basketball and netball commitments, but the occasional family night in is always looked forward to.
“Saturdays vary in our household. During winter, the weekends are filled with sporting commitments,” Calvin says.
“The girls go to netball during the day and I go and shoot around.”
“If there’s no basketball at night though, it’s usually takeaway on the way home from netball and movie nights,” Demalza adds.
“The time we spend together as a family really categorises home to me. Whether it’s joking, listening to music or watching a movie,” Calvin says.
Between juggling his own training commitments and family life, Calvin has started coaching basketball clinics in Sunraysia to add to the “comfortable chaos”.
“I’m coaching kids as young as seven all the way up to adults. It’s just a way to give back to the community, pass on my knowledge to the next generation and always stay connected to the game,” Calvin says.