Bloody Clever Australians
I am an ordinary Australian who left school with no idea about my purpose, just like my father and mother before me. I watched my children grow up and they had no idea.
But my daughter Lily came along after a 16-year gap…
I call Lily my miracle and my greatest gift. Lily is in her final year of high school and still has absolutely no idea.
I have told Lily not to worry or get nervous about having no idea of her purpose. The more you have a go, the more you know and that cumulative knowledge and people you meet along the way will help you find your why. I discovered my purpose because of my concern that the education system felt broken and seemingly failed generations, requiring children to meet competency standards that make no sense. They keep asking: Why am I learning this?
Shouldn’t school prepare you for a life full of possibility?
To nurture you as an individual; to see those special talents and guide each of us along the path to leave school with some idea?
I decided to devote my life — with the help of Billie and friends — to become an activist to drive curriculum change in primary school, so children go into high school with some idea of a purpose. Having a purpose reduces anxiety, stress and depression. The pursuit of a purpose will lead to a life that has meaning; a life full of possibilities; a life that ‘wags your tail’.
I feel truly privileged to have this opportunity to make a difference in this world with the help of Billie and friends perhaps be the catalyst to answer
‘I know what I want to be’.
Education Professional, curriculum specialist, former Inspector of Primary Curriculum, NESA (NSW Education Standards Authority)
I devoted my life to teaching and nurturing children.
Initially, I didn’t know what my purpose was and had no idea what I wanted to do or be when I finished high school.
I was told to put any option in my tertiary entrance choices and if I was fortunate enough, could make up my mind once I was accepted. I knew I wanted to do something at uni, but not sure what. Teaching hadn’t entered my mind initially, but the idea had been planted by a favourite teacher. The more I thought about it while I waited for the notification from uni, the more my mind was made up! Teaching was it!
I was one of the fortunate ones who [eventually] knew what I wanted to be and loved what I did. I wanted to be the nurturer of children, help them find purpose. I wanted to be the one who ‘saw’ them and ‘heard’ them and give them hope. I wanted to show them that they had potential.
But teaching still wasn’t enough. I wanted to have a greater impact in the lives of children. I didn’t want to just influence my school/s but support many teachers to understand the curriculum; that it isn’t a cookie cutter and one size fits all. They could bend and stretch the curriculum to suit their students’ needs and interests.
When I retired, Bernard came knocking and asked for my help. I could not resist the opportunity to continue to support teachers who in turn, provide great opportunities to their students. Parents are the most influential in children’s lives, so we also wanted to support them to help their children find their purpose.
Our driving goal is to positively influence the next generations of children to lead productive and purposeful lives where they have a strong sense of self and contribute to the broader community.
“Solving problems together is special. My friends and I often see things differently but in the end, it always helps to share, talk to someone, overcome a fear or a problem together. I like to encourage those too shy to join in, to have a go, and not be scared of failing.”