IRON LADY WITH A SOFT HEART

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

want to waste time like non­sense gos­sip­ing.”

Teo­dosia has ex­pe­ri­enced many hin­drances in her 20 years of ex­pe­ri­ence with her job but this has never stopped her. “I am the odd one out be­cause I do not do what the rest are do­ing. I do not lis­ten to ‘ toxic’ peo­ple. I do what I think is good for many of the con­stituents. I base my de­ci­sion on my faith in my God.”

She tries not to fo­cus on the neg­a­tives; in­stead she fo­cuses on new ways to help the com­mu­nity.

As the ma­tri­arch in the tourism in­dus­try, she has in­creased hir­ing rate, im­proved en­vi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment and aware­ness. She made the gov­ern­ment pro­vide school sup­plies to strug­gling stu­dents. Her work in­creased the em­ploy­ment ca­pac­ity of the lo­cal gov­ern­ment unit and pro­vided pri­vate per­sons to en­gage in busi­ness. Her depart­ment pro­vided the venue for per­for­mances of mu­si­cally tal­ented stu­dents. The in­dus­try she was in, pro­vided fa­cil­i­ties that were also used by the com­mu­nity such as paved roads, Wi- Fi con­nec­tion, and the build­ing of a com­mu­nity cen­tre among oth­ers.

Teo­dosia’s job re­quires her to be avail­able 24/ 7. This means she has had to bal­ance be­ing a mother of two and a wife with her stress­ful job. Teo­dosia was very com­mit­ted to her job but she then de­cided that be­ing a mother was more im­por­tant than any­thing. “I dic­tate my pace in the work­place, so I can be with my chil­dren phys­i­cally, men­tally and emo­tion­ally when I am at home. I see to it that I at­tend all the im­por­tant events of my chil­dren’s school life.”

She has been blessed to have a very sup­port­ive fam­ily. “When I get home from work, it just seems like my stress goes away,” she said. You could see the joy and love in her eyes when she talked about her fam­ily.

For her, sup­port from her fam­ily and suc­cess in the job goes hand- in- hand. Even with a de­mand­ing job she has man­aged to in­stil val­ues in her chil­dren and is still ro­man­tic with her hus­band of 22 years even though he was 4435km away from her for al­most six years.

The fruit of her labour came when Teo­dosia un­ex­pect­edly won an award from the Pres­i­dent of the Philip­pines in 2010. This was the Pres­i­den­tial Lingkod Bayan Award which is the high­est award given to a gov­ern­ment em­ployee.

Af­ter 20 years of work­ing for the gov­ern­ment, she de­cided to re­tire early and move back to Aus­tralia.

She brought her two chil­dren with her in order to have bet­ter ed­u­ca­tional op­tions. Even af­ter re­tir­ing early, her pre­vi­ous staff con­stantly keep in con­tact with her to con­sult about their jobs and life in gen­eral.

Mov­ing to Aus­tralia has dras­ti­cally changed her life. She now feels as if she’s free from all the pres­sures. “Com­ing here in Aus­tralia is the big­gest change in my life where no­body knows me,” she said. “I can do what­ever pleases me. There is no peer pres­sure.” She is no longer the per­son she used to be. She now tries to grow spir­i­tu­ally. With­out the power and the in­flu­ence she used to have, she be­lieves that she is hap­pier now.

When asked if she re­gret­ted any­thing and if she could give a piece of ad­vice to ev­ery­one, she said: “This is what I want to tell ev­ery­body — man­age your stress, for I learned the hard way”. “I was di­ag­nosed with an ab­nor­mal­ity which, if we trace it in the genes, we don’t have it,” she said. “It all boils down to stress and anger.”

The num­ber one wis­dom she would al­ways tell her chil­dren is to value health. “Make sac­ri­fices in order to suc­ceed but, never ever en­dan­ger your health.”

She has since then opened a new chap­ter in her life. Teo­dosia loves tak­ing a stroll at parks dur­ing the week­end along with her hus­band. She is al­ways the model of her hus­band’s love of pho­tog­ra­phy. The stroll al­ways cul­mi­nates with a cup of cof­fee and a book to read. They en­joy each other’s com­pany. She has left all the stress be­hind and is im­part­ing ad­vice to her pre­vi­ous em­ploy­ees based from all her ex­pe­ri­ences. “I now have the time to smell the scent of the flow­ers,” she said.

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