Life is literally a tall order for Kewal Shiels.
The 30-year-old former car salesman from Victoria is impossible to miss as he towers over every other person in the country.
Shiels stands at 7ft 3ins or 223 centimetres on the old scale- roughly the same height as a female Asian elephant – making him officially the tallest man in Australia.
Kewal Shiels, 30, is the tallest man in Australia. Mr Shiels stands at seven foot-three or 223 centimetres – making him around the same size a female Asian elephant
Shiels (pictured left) chatting to reporter Charles Wooley from the kitchen of his Melbourne home
Speaking on 60 Minutes on Sunday night, Shiels said he doesn’t want to be defined by his height.
‘It’s certainly given me opportunities,’ he said. ‘But there’s definitely a side to it that sits a little uncomfortably with me sometimes. It can almost get a little bit exploitative.’
Despite his imposing height, people still talk often about Shiels like he’s invisible.
He recently told Good Weekend Magazine he often overhears strangers standing around guessing his height and taking bets on his shoe size.
He wears size 11 shoes, the same size as Ian Thorpe and has a custom-made bed eight metre long bed to ensure a comfortable sleep.
Shiels also has to order custom-made clothes online because regular stores don’t stock his sizes.
Shiels was always going to be a tall man, height is in his genes.
His mother, who is of Swedish-Irish heritage, is 6ft. His late father, of Tanzanian and Punjabi Sikh background, was 6ft 4ins.
Being tall does have its advantages when it comes to sport – especially basketball – his favourite game.
He was even once scouted by a basketball coach while on a gap year in the United States and offered a full sporting scholarship.
Although he never progressed to the professional ranks, Sheils still plays socially for the Craigieburn Eagles in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.
Unsurprisingly, Shiels (pictured) has proven to be very capable on the basketball court
Kewal Sheils (pictured right) was happy to chat about life as Australia’s tallest man
But being the tallest man in Australia does have its drawbacks.
Sometimes Mr Shiels likes to see what life would be like if he were an average height.
When he is alone, he will often squat down to what is deemed a ‘normal height’.
‘It’s amazing how close to the ground most people are. There’s so much more detail down there,’ he said.
Life before camera phones would have been far more peaceful, Shiels added.
People constantly take his picture in public, sometimes without his permission.
He wears size 11 shoes, which is the same size as Ian Thorpe. He has a custom-made bed that is stretched to eight-feet long to ensure a comfortable sleep
Life before camera phones would’ve been far more peaceful, he said. People constantly take his picture, sometimes without his permission
‘It’s such a weird double standard, because you would never do that to a person who was really short,’ he said.
Online dating has also presented its challenges. When Shiels meets up with his potential love interests face to face, the women are often left feeling intimidated.
‘(When) it gets to the point where you’re actually going to meet them, I guess I like to give them a warning …just so they’re not too shocked,’ he said.
Mr Shiels was officially dubbed the tallest man in Australia back in 2017, when the Australian Records Book commenced.
However, he is still significantly shorter than the tallest man in medical history – American Robert Pershing Wadlow, who was 8’11.