I have been living and working in the Ballina Community for the past 10 years and was born in the area. I always loved this area, whilst at the same time never thought I would be back here in business and raising a young family. I remember growing up and watching everyone around me – how they were - and in particular I watched and modeled myself on my father and his peer group. I know my father didn’t consider himself a role model and possibly still doesn’t, but this isn’t how I see things now.
Since being a father myself, I watch and listen to my children, both the boys and girls, and see many of my qualities that they take on and from early I could see I was a role model for them. At times I didn’t want to really see this, especially when it was something they had modeled that didn’t sit right with me when I saw it replayed back. Since being involved in the Girl To Woman Festival (G2W Festival) in many different ways - I have seen the way I am around people change. Having this festival in my life has brought about a great change to the way I see myself and the quality I am in in the world. For example, you think it is just an isolated conversation you may have at work in Ballina or in the street, but what I have seen is a living change, in that – I know everyone is watching me like I watched others when I was growing up and so I know I am a role model for many, even those I may not even know by name.
I don’t put myself above anyone and love very much being a part of the community. Being a part of the G2W Festival over the years has offered me more awareness of the quality I bring to all parts of my life and not just at home to my children. This festival is bringing me and us to see that we are all watching each other and so the way I am everywhere is important and not just on centre stage or when we think it counts. I am looking forward to seeing what will come from the G2W Festival 2017 as what I have noticed is that anytime I talk about this festival – my awareness of what is going on around me changes, I see everything more broadly which is great just in itself for any community gathering.
What makes a true role model?
A true role model is someone who inspires another to change something in themselves. Not by copying what they have seen but by actually choosing to make a change for themselves in the way that they live. In this way of living you don’t get exhausted. It is not something you have to keep up with or constantly be better at.
It is all in the quality of the way you live in each moment
You don’t have to have a public face and then a face for your friends and another one for your family or work colleagues. The way you are is constant through all areas of your life. You become a role model by living example and not by what you can be seen to do or have done.
I don’t tell my children one thing and then do another thing myself
I live what I say first and then I don’t really have to say it at all. I have found that if I do my best to do or say what I feel in any moment, then I am better prepared for whatever comes next. This is the way I choose to live and I can see the powerful effect this has had on my family and those around me.
It may seem simple… But it is.
In this way of living it is almost by accident that I have become a role model. This is because the focus isn’t on anything else but the moment I am in.
My children are role models for each other and for me
I watch how the children are in:
- The way they interact
- How they show each other what they do and don’t like
- How they watch and learn from each other
We can all be and are all role models in our own way
In the past I have assumed being a role model was something you strive for and achieve. Now I can see that it is an ongoing relationship between people. No one person knows everything or has everything. You could say that in every relationship there is something to learn or model ourselves on. I have certainly seen this for myself. In every interaction, whether it be at home with the children or my partner, at work with customers, at a function with friends or at the service station getting petrol, there is something for me to learn – always something new is presented to look at. Too often I have looked at the most popular person, the strongest person or the richest person to model myself on. But we all have a role to play in life at different times and it becomes obvious that role models are everyday people doing everyday things.