“If you look at the world as a friendly and hopeful place, as a web of relationships, you’ll look for the good news in people and not the bad.”
That was one of the gems shared by Kathy Mildon at her retirement after 32 years on Higher Ground’s community team. Director Johnny Dow welcomed around 200 friends, family, colleagues and residents to celebrate Higher Ground’s longest serving staff member. They included Kathy’s husband Wayne and daughters Shannon from Zurich, and Robyn and her son Ben from Melbourne.
“As a 35-year-old social work student 35 years ago, I thought I knew everything,” Kathy said. “But really when I reflect on what I do, it was not much different from what my grandmothers did a century ago. I remember my Irish and Scottish grandmothers as active listeners, non-judging, self-reflecting, people-focused, accepting.
“Lately I have been thinking about experience. It is not enough to be experienced unless you can turn that experience into graciousness. Somehow wisdom is not lodged inside until its truth has been engraved by some moment of delight, disappointment, joy.
“My grandmothers were able to turn their experience into graciousness. My Mum and Dad inherited many of their strengths. My Dad’s instinct for people, my Mum’s openness and compassion.