Speaking privately to fellow campmate Fiona O’Loughlin, Noll revealed that today would have been his father’s 73rd birthday. The singer's father passed away of a brain injury following a farming accident before Noll became famous, leaving a terrible toll on the family.
'It has ruined mum, you know. Mum is not so tough. She will never be the same,' he said. 'With the sons, we had our own kids and our partners, we had things to occupy our minds…but she is in a house in a cold bed every night. Just a constant reminder everywhere she turns.
'It’s the hardship of getting left behind. [That] began for her then and it has never stopped.'
In his father's absence, Shannon and his family struggled to maintain the farm.
'We tried to farm our way out of it in the next two years. We failed because of the drought so we got enough rain to put the crop in and then it didn’t rain at all after that. That cost $40 or 50 grand at a time for fuel, seed, spray. So we went further into debt.'
Eventually, the Noll family made the heartbreaking decision to part ways with the farm.
'Big business, though, they don’t mind jumping on an opportunity I suppose. We just had enough to buy mum’s house. I went on Idol. A few of the creditors were left over, they chased mum really hard for the shortfall,' he revealed.
Noll appeared on the 2003 debut season of Australian Idol, resulting in a hugely successful music career.
'I wrote a cash cheque out for $209,000 for a tractor company. I thought I was doing the right thing - I’d never run a business before. So I paid a lot of these debts out. Consequently all the big money I made after the show, I paid bills with it,' Noll said.
I didn’t blow it on yachts and all that sort of stuff. Just paid [bills]