‘I have four items I would like to show you – they all mean a lot to me and they have supported me, and many other people I have known in our various journeys. Two have adorned the walls of my various workplaces for around 3 decades. The first one is an excellent quote by an Aboriginal Elder, Lilla Watson. She says ‘if you have come to help me, then you are wasting your time, but if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together’. I so believe this to be true in all aspects of life and relationships.
The second one is a postcard sent to me in 1986 by a young woman who was a student of mine in a course I ran in TAFE for long term unemployed young people. This young woman like many others had struggled with a very difficult background and history, one that seemed to destiny them to a lifetime of struggle. I would acknowledge many of these students that up until now their lives had not been good or happy, but that it didn’t have to be that way forever. They could make positive changes now, and we were there to support them in this. It was wonderful to see them make these changes and this young woman was no exception. She grew in confidence and got a full time job, saved and a couple of years later went on a holiday to Bali from where she found and sent this card to me – on it is a quote from George Elliott. ‘ It is never too late to be what you might have been’. As she said to me later, ‘you supported us to know we could do this’.
The third item, are packets of locally grown organic seeds. Produced by people who are happy to share their knowledge, and who like me, love to see things grow. Whether it be food for people and other creatures, or simply for their beauty. Sometimes the end result may not be seen for many years, but it is all so worthwhile. I think we all sow seeds, and we all want them to be the best they can be and the best way for this to happen is to nurture and support each other.
The last item is a photo of my lovely grandson. He has two wonderful mums who know they have a responsibility to support him to grow to be a man of compassion, care and understanding and to reach his potential whatever that may be for him. I know he will be given the best support to achieve this, and am so proud of them and the values they share as a family unit.
I think we all need support at different stages of our lives, and so I thank you my mentee, for allowing me as a mentor to share a part of your journey.’