'I've had a lot of role models throughout my life'

"With my children, I loved being part of who and what they were."

I have pondered this question as to who in my life I could say was a role model.

It’s not an easy answer to what I think should be a simple question. I know that regarding my children my parents were my role models, for even in their own imperfections they believed they were raising reasonable human beings, all of whom were able to take their place in the world and contribute to society.

What I learned as I grew older was to evaluate the models I did have. With my children, I loved being part of who and what they were. I loved seeing them play sport, I didn’t care if they won or lost, but I always liked to think they were competitive.

When I became a teacher, I realised that the teachers who taught me were my role models.

I never had a teacher, that I recall that I would say was a role model for me. The Marist Brothers, many of whom were good men, were not all that good in imparting knowledge. Some I had were simply bullies, small men with ‘small man’ syndrome who ruled over us with big sticks and fear.

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In my own career, I worked with inspirational teachers. People who knew their stuff and knew how to teach it. Men and women for whom teaching was a gift to those in front of them.

Many of the ones I learned from were not conventional in their methods. Many were brave and taught with great motivation, and I include teachers from all different faculty areas.

Many of the ones I am still closest too after all these years, were great human beings who nurtured the relationships they established with their students and who produced great results for them.

For me, teaching was about relationships. In the same way, I have nurtured the relationships I have had with my own children.

I had older friends from whom I learned a lot about family and how to get along with your kids.

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I think that as I age, thinking that I may be a role model for my own kids and those around me is the greatest contribution I could now make to the people in my world.

What constituted a role model for you and who were they?