Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Liz Sinnott: mother, sister, aunt and principal is grateful...
Liz Sinnott is a wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt and principal of a gorgeous little school in Sydney. And she’s also my twitter buddy and an inspiration in the local area where she resides, and where I am a fringe-dweller of sorts. I’m feel blessed and somewhat at peace reading Liz's personal and inspiring gratefuls below. I’m sure, like me, many of you will be able to relate to them.
Liz was born Elizabeth Kelly and had the pleasure of being the only girl with four brothers to two absolutely inspirational parents. She married her childhood sweetheart Brett and together they have an amazing daughter Jessica.
Liz says: ‘I’m the daughter of a Yuin man and Wiradjuri woman and proudly belong to the La Perouse community in Sydney. In La Perouse, I am surrounded by one side of my extended family (the Page family) through my father. My other side of the family are the Carney and Pearce families in Western NSW.'
And these are five things Liz is grateful for:
1. My family
My Dad, Kevin is the most loyal, passionate and intuitive person I know. He inspires me every day; he was heavily involved in the 1967 referendum fight with Charlie Perkins et al and taught me that anything is possible.
My mum, Pam is also an amazing source of inspiration as she went back to school (Year 10) when she was 28 and completed her school certificate while still raising five children under twelve. She was an Aboriginal Education Assistant, Home School Liaison Officer and now a Department of Community Services worker. How she did it is beyond me. All five of their children are successful in their own right; I’m a principal of a school, my brother Noel is a self-employed builder, my second brother Dean is a well respected Community Engagement Officer with the Department of Environment and Heritage and my two younger brothers Kevin and Glen were world-class boxers (they were known as Bones and Kunga Kelly back in the day hahaha).
My husband and I met at high school and have been together for 25+ years, we have an amazingly intelligent daughter who is making her own mark in the world, as parents we did well
2. My job
I’m the principal of a small school in Sydney, but my path to this gorgeous slice of heaven was one of lots of twists and turns. As I said, I come from the La Perouse community and began my career in the inner-west (Marrickville/Petersham to be exact). I taught at a school where we received one of the first waves of Vietnamese refugees and many children who came from language backgrounds other than English. For a new teacher this was an eye opener to say the least. I spent sixteen wonderful years teaching and learning from a wonderful community who embraced me whole heartedly. I then spent time in consultancy working with schools across the state from Broken Hill to Griffith to Fairfield and Sydney city. The most amazing kids and teachers I have ever met, with open minds, hearts and communities. I spent five years working on the Central Coast of NSW and Hunter Valley just to return home to Sydney and Lapa. I feel like I’m at home and I’ve returned to my community.
My life would be so very different if it weren’t for children. They brighten every day and I take great joy in having each day filled with children wanting to learn. My life has been spent surrounded by children and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The twinkle in their eyes when they discover something new or you’ve introduced them to a different view of the world. Children make me smile, they teach me that the world isn’t as awful as I sometimes view it. They accept you as you are and love you unconditionally and ask for nothing more than smiles and kind words in return. My work and family includes lots of children so I get to spend lots of time with the “cherubs” as I prefer to call them. I am certainly grateful my life is filled to the brim with children!
4. My community
As I said before my community is in La Perouse and I am very grateful for it. I have wonderful childhood memories of weekends in Lapa swimming at Yarra Bay, Congy and Lapa beach. Buying lollies from Tony’s shop and eating “pigface” with my brothers up at Cape Banks. On my appointment as principal at Lapa I was so warmly embraced by the parents at the school that I knew I was home again. I’ve enjoyed a wonderful relationship with my community and hope that I do them proud in all my endeavours as it is my family and community that have shaped the person I am today. We are a strong, proud community that has had continuous occupation of the La Perouse area since before the invasion and I am grateful I am a Koori from this community.
5. Being me
I wouldn’t be anyone but me! I’m blessed to be a Koori, a mother, a daughter, a wife, an aunt, a cousin and the principal of the best school in Sydney. I wake up every morning knowing that I’m going to make a difference to the lives of others, my day usually starts with a cuppa with my mum as well as a gossip hahahaha. I then take myself to school where I have a seriously dedicated staff who absolutely adore the children they teach – my philosophy is that the children don’t need pity for some of their situations, they need educating and that’s exactly what my staff also believe. During every day I laugh (usually one of the kids have said or done something that starts me off) and I get loads and loads of cuddles .... I don’t know any job that could be more rewarding and more fulfilling. I usually end my day with a cuppa and a gossip with my mum (sometimes my dad). Usually some of my nephews and nieces drop in to visit and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have true friends that are supportive and are always very willing to give me a dose of reality when needed. I am grateful that I lead the life I lead – I laugh, I smile and I’m loved, I don’t think you can ask for anything more can you?