Tweed Shire couple shows generous spirit on The Briefcase
TROY and Mem Hockley say they have no regrets about going on The Briefcase.
The controversial TV "experiment" sees two deserving families given $100,000 but they are then presented with the dilemma of keeping all of the cash for themselves or sharing it with another family.
The parents-of-four, who moved to Murwillumbah in the Tweed Shire earlier this year after filming their episode of the Channel 9 show, chose to give $50,000 to Melbourne parents Kevin and Honey Richmond after learning how they were forced to sell their family home when Kevin's construction business went bust.
In exchange, the Richmonds gave the Hockleys $25,000 towards Mem's charity for disadvantaged girls.
"It was a pretty tumultuous ride but when we got there (to exchange the money) it was done and dusted. It (our decision) sat well with us," Troy told APN..
"At the end of the day we're very happy with our decision and more than happy with their decision."
Mem said there was no awkwardness during their meeting with the Richmonds.
"When I was talking to Honey she said she felt a bit bad about it (not giving more money to us), but they had a huge financial crisis," she said.
"They are older than us and it's like we've given them their time back with their family. She works night shifts and I'm at home cuddling my kids every night.
"When I first saw the money, I didn't think it was ours anyway."
The two families bonded over the experience and still keep in touch.
"We're really good friends now," Mem said.
"We're going down to visit them towards the end of the year. It's funny how Nine matched us up. We're really similar."
The Hockleys describe their $75,000 windfall as life-changing. Troy and Mem are now both studying counselling at TAFE and Mem can now afford to run Mem's Soul Food in both Newcastle, their former home, and in Murwillumbah.
Troy can also now spend less time working as a fencing contractor and more time helping Mem with her charity.
"I'd do it (the show) again if they asked us," Mem said.