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Health First Nations

TikTok sensation Brother Boys celebrated International Friendship Day

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Two men, who’ve become a TikTok sensation by making videos about their unique bond, are calling on Australia to re-think what friendship means for International Friendship Day.

Bill Cooper and Kyran O’Donnell have clocked up more than 50 million views on TikTok for the Brother Boy videos, which showcase a friendship straddling disability, culture and a state border.

Bill lives with Down’s syndrome and works at a supermarket in Wentworth, New South Wales. His best friend (and brother-in-law) Kyran O’Connell, based over the border in Mildura, Victoria, identifies as a First Nations Barkindji man and works as a landscaper with local
government.

They have almost a million followers on TikTok for their videos, which feature dance moves, humour and messages about embracing diversity. They refer to themselves as the Brother Boys.

“We’re normalising the differences between us and not just us, but everybody,” Kyran said. “We’re the opposite in every single way possible and that’s why our relationship is so strong – it also promotes inclusiveness because regardless of how different we are, we can still be best buds and get along just fine and have a good time.”

Their most popular video, featuring dancing, got over 24 million views, while another video about pranks got some 12 million views.

“We’re positive people and I’m a funny guy,” Bill said, on his TikTok fame. “Fans love my dance moves and the videos make people feel happy and excited to see the Brother Boys.”

Social Futures supports Bill as his NDIS Local Area Coordinator, and also runs some 20 other programs in regional NSW promoting inclusiveness.

“It is wonderful to see a person with a disability living their dream, and becoming a social media star,” Social Futures CEO Tony Davies said.

“Social Futures is a Partner in the Community to the NDIS, and we are passionate about supporting people with disability to live life the way they want to and pursue their goals, which in Bill’s case includes becoming a TikTok sensation.

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