Changing lives. You probably hear these words used a lot – by Mater and many other organisations.
I have been thinking about these words quite a lot as I prepare to leave my role at Mater Foundation after nearly 25 years. What do these words mean?
For me, the answer is easy. I have come to know many people cared for by Mater, and their families. From the tiniest of babies, to folk in the twilight of their lives. I have seen how that care has changed lives, at some of our most vulnerable moments in life, and I have seen what it takes to make that difference.
There is another piece to this as well. A very important one. And that is you!
Your support of Mater has always been valued and greatly appreciated by my colleagues who work across all that Mater does in delivering health care. It has never been taken for granted.
We are so fortunate at Mater to have such generous and enduring support from our community, and one constant in Mater’s story of community support has been the Mater Prize Home lottery. While it is a story that has changed a lot since it began in 1954, there is much that has remained consistent. The idea that your support in helping to change lives might also result in changing yours, should you win a Mater Prize Home, has always appealed.
I have met many prize home winners in my time at Mater and have heard many times, “we never expected to win!”. Sharing that sense that people have of doing something because it is good for others, and then winning a prize that will change their lives in a meaningful way, has been a special joy.
Tim and Megan were experiencing just that when I met them a few weeks ago. They had just won the latest Mater Prize Home and were excited beyond measure. I couldn’t have been more delighted for this hard-working young family who had been so generous for years, and now had just had their lives changed in such a positive way.
When they shared their story, it was even more remarkable. Tim’s mother has also been a long-term Mater supporter, and his grandfather had done the landscaping on the early Mater Prize Homes in the 1960s. What an extraordinary link.
Yes, changing lives is a term we might use a lot. Here at Mater, it means something, and always has. Because of what you do.
I have had the privileged position to bear witness to that over 25 years. To share experiences and emotions. To see what has forever changed, because of you.
As I conclude my time at Mater, I want to say something that is very important to me. It is something I have said to you many times, each time sincerely meant, and it is the most important thing I can say to you.
Thank you for caring for Mater and for the people for whom Mater cares.
Thank you personally for enabling me to serve your compassion and care for Mater. My hope is that you may continue to give your support to Mater in to the future, if you can. I know that it really will change lives.
My best wishes and sincere thanks,