All of us who love Millers Point and those whose roots run deep will share my wishes but this post is personal. My family and I value the men here, especially those that have contributed to the fabric of our community life, through friendship and leadership. This Mother’s Day though I want to say a heartfelt thanks to all those mothers in Millers’s Point, whether you have mothered your own child, grandchildren or others or have mothered in a broader sense.
You are the women who first welcomed me, a newcomer, with open arms. You were the first to raise your face to smile as we passed in the street. You are the ones with businesses that are the centre of social life for those with nowhere else to go. You are the ones that ask how I am and genuinely care. You are those I would not hesitate to call should I need your help. You and your mothering are why we feel safe here, why we know our children are kindly watched and cared for when we try to let them have some freedom (frequently known as ‘letting them run feral’ by modern parents!) and many of you have contributed so much to the social glue and commitment to place that holds local communities together. Many of you have spent lifetimes looking out for each other, with husbands and sons lost in wars, through dangerous maritime work, or tragedy, saving our historic Sydney from demolition (if they only knew, the rest of Sydney would thank you too) saving our local school, caring for our aged and impaired and setting up activities for participation of all. Some of you are new like me, but we are connected across common values, if not fortune. You are the heart of a community that really does care about those who are more vulnerable.
Most of you live in social housing. Some of you have left us and we miss you every day. Some we will never see again. I am so sorry that Mike Baird and his colleagues have failed to recognize your priceless gift of creating community and a civil society, so discussed but rarely witnessed as we have seen it here. But we know, we have benefited, and from my family to all of yours, our love and heartfelt thanks. May all that you are and have contributed be celebrated this Mother’s Day.