Had the audience enthralled

CEO Tonkin Australia

Like most founders of start-ups, I work part time to put food on the table and in the hungry tummies of my little girls. Until that longed for day when we generate enough income from our business, my husband and I work part time to fuel our dreams. While building the foundation of Unchained Business Services and dreaming, planning, strategising and implementing, I have a tendancy to neglect that part of me which I give myself to three days a week. But not this week. This week, it is at the forefront of my brain.

I am a cancer nurse. My job demands that I am present, body, mind and heart, every day. Yesterday, we said a forever goodbye to a young mum who was about my age who lost her battle with breast cancer. Today, I sat with an older patient and his family who has suddenly deteriorated and may not make it to Christmas, and reminded him how to breathe. One breath in, one breath out, helping him not to panic in between. His wife of 55 years had been picked up by their daughter from another nearby hospital, where she was undergoing her own cancer treatment. These two who have lived a life together, now staring together at the doorway to life’s end, wondering who will remain to say goodbye.

Sandwiched between these two sadly significant days, yesterday afternoon I left work in the heaviest rainfall Sydney has had in more than a decade, and ran to catch a bus to the city. In the bathroom of a corporate building, I quickly changed out of my drenched nursing uniform and into my business clothes, applying makeup with lightning speed. I stepped into the bathroom as a nurse, and stepped out as a company director and into my corporate life. For the rest of the evening, I had the privilege of being part of a small group of visionary leaders who spent time with Enette Pauze, global leader and speaker on organisational partnerships.

Enette is the CEO and Founder of Level 8 Leadership Institute which is dedicated to inspiring world leaders who leave global legacies. She develops innovative ways to bring people together to solve global problems. Her research has shown that there are three elements to being a legacy: the mastery of leadership (harmony of one mind), partnership (harmony of many minds), and stewardship (harmony across generations). Her definition of stewardship particularly resonated with me – something entrusted to you which you do not own. To learn more about Level 8 Leadership, click here. http://www.valuebasedpartnerships.com

Confronted by my own mortality daily as I work with those who are fighting their own battles, the idea of a legacy hits deep. What is my legacy?

Today is significant for those of us in the anti-slavery space. The Modern Slavery Act 2018 was passed through the House of Representatives. We have a new legislation, a legacy created by the many many people and organisations who have fought long and hard to make this a reality. As I ride on their legacy, and begin to create my own, I wonder when I look back on my life, what I will be most proud of. Will I be able to measure the number of hands held, the number of families I have walked with to death’s door, the suffering I have helped alleviate. Will I be able to measure the number of people released from slavery because of our work with Australian Companies and the Modern Slavery Act?

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