Kind­ness and Courage: She is Bar­bara Ward善良與勇氣同在

Kind­ness and Courage

Vision Magazine - - Contents - ENGLISH TEXT BY LUCY WU CHI­NESE TEXT BY CA­ROLE LU PHOTOS: SUP­PLIED

善良與勇氣同在如果褪去事業與財富的光環,她只是一個平凡的女人,精力充沛,視丈夫為天,善良,以奉獻為人生的準則,她不是企業的老總,也不是叱吒風雲的女強人。她,只是芭芭拉 (Bar­bara Ward)。 She is not de ned by her ad­mirable ca­reer, fam­ily or an af uent life­style. Probe deeper and you will nd a com­pas­sion­ate, charis­matic woman with a strong will to con­trib­ute to oth­ers. She is Bar­bara Ward, com­mu­nity leader and se­nior ex­ec­u­tive in the not-for-pro t and char­ity sec­tor.

「從事首先考慮他人,小母親教導我,凡

而後才是自己」,芭芭拉的笑容中散發著一股讓人無法忘懷的魅力。

身為 San Foun­da­tion 總經理的芭芭拉有著幸福的家庭,讓人羨慕的事業。「我不是一個強勢的人,身為一個女人,我大半生都在為別人付出。今天我有自己的事業,這並不值得炫耀;但我希望能激勵年輕女孩。當有一天人們提起我時,能說一句,『既然芭芭拉能做到,我相信我也可以』」。芭芭拉在澳洲慈善界小有名氣,但人們只知道她遊走在政客與商人群體中,替很多弱勢團體發聲,卻鮮有人知她光環下的故事。

在北悉尼一間優雅的茶室中,芭芭拉視我如知己,侃侃而談她的人生經歷。

芭芭拉曾在斐濟立家,有一個可愛的兒子。不幸的是,家庭暴力令她不得不孤身遠走澳洲。正當安排 17歲的兒子來澳洲團聚時,卻傳來兒子突然病故的噩耗。斐濟的醫療環境沒有留住這個年輕的生命。之後,最親愛的母親也離她而去。

世界曾如此重擊了她,幾乎讓她倒下;作為一個妻子、母親和女兒,最痛的經歷曾傷得她體無完膚。

「過去十年內,我最愛的母親撒手人寰,唯一的孩子也去世了。」芭芭拉眼中閃爍的淚光,「這可能是我人生中感到最遺憾的兩件事,但我相信上天有祂的安排。」

但是,上天安排的這場無情烈火,不但沒有吞噬她,卻讓她在一切苦難之後浴火重生。

信奉上帝的芭芭拉從此堅強地走上了慈善事業。她通過基金機構,將所獲得的所有捐款直接用於支持悉尼 Ad­ven­tist 醫院,為醫院提供救生設備、調研、教育的經費,為病人提供護理服務的費用。

「我媽媽一直在做慈善工作,我爸爸曾是教堂的牧師。」 芭芭拉的家庭背景為她日後的慈善工作打下了基礎,「其實,在1995 年蜜月之後,我就突然感悟到,我應該在慈善部門工作。」

面對內心的痛苦,芭芭拉沒有抱怨,卻感激生命中的另一半。「我非常幸運,與現任丈夫的情感如磐石,他是我生命中最重要的人,沒有他不可能有今天的我。」

芭芭拉以慈善事業走紅主流社會,「有人開玩笑稱我是德雷莎修女。其實在幫助他人後所獲得的那份喜悅,是無人能懂的,而我僅僅為了這份滿足而付出,」她淡定的微笑道。 「或許正因為前半生的不幸與重創,讓我明白有能力付出就是幸福」。

風光和名氣是有限的,但芭芭拉內心的善良與謙卑卻是永恆的。她笑著說道,「多少次,我和同事到弱勢人群的家裏,幫忙打掃,清理,布置…這些事情,看似卑微,卻讓我真實的感受到助人的可貴」。

每當有人驚歎她的毅力與勇氣時,芭芭拉總是真誠地回答說:「那是上帝給了我力量。」

雖然人生已近花甲,在慈善領域內是人人稱讚的女強人,但交談中她卻笑得像個小女孩。每當觸及內心深處的塵封記憶時,芭芭拉淚珠竄動潤濕了眼眶,那種把痛苦深深埋在心底,用善良為他人帶來希望的勇氣,令我驚歎。

長談後,芭芭拉問我:「你認為,如果我的人生沒有經歷前半輩子的重創,我還是今天的我嗎?」我倆相視而笑!

Bar­bara, a deeply car­ing woman strongly mo­ti­vated to help­ing oth­ers, said to me with a smile, “My mother al­ways re­minded me: think about oth­ers be­fore you think about your­self.”

Clearly Bar­bara’s suc­cess and com­mit­ment to her life-en­hanc­ing work serves as an in­spi­ra­tion to all women, “As a woman, most of my life I have been liv­ing for oth­ers, and now that I have my own ca­reer, it's noth­ing to boast about. But I hope to in­spire young women, so that in the fu­ture when my name is men­tioned, they can think ‘if Bar­bara can do it, I be­lieve I can too.’”

De­spite Bar­bara’s well-known and re­spected pub­lic per­sona, most peo­ple only recog­nise her as some­one with many con­nec­tions in the world of pol­i­tics, busi­ness and char­ity. Few have ac­tu­ally heard her real story. Sit­ting in­side an ele­gant tea room in North Syd­ney, Bar­bara turns to me like an old friend and rem­i­nisces about her past and life ex­pe­ri­ences.

Bar­bara had lived in Fiji to­gether with her lit­tle son, how­ever, when she was faced with do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, she had no choice but to leave the coun­try and travel to Aus­tralia to join her mother. When her son was 17 years old, he was ex­pected to re­unite with her in Aus­tralia, but fate would have it in­stead she re­ceived news of his sud­den death. Her son had been ill with a rheumatic heart and be­ing still in Fiji, the lim­ited med­i­cal ca­pac­ity avail­able in the coun­try could not save the young man’s life. In 2007, Bar­bara’s mother also passed away. Bar­bara was dev­as­tated by the un­ex­pected deaths of her two dear­est loved ones and found her­self fac­ing the loss on her own. “In the past 10 years, my beloved mother left, and my only child passed away.” As she re­counted her tragic loss to me, Bar­bara’s eyes welled up with tears. “These are the two most

Life is one big choice we make, and I chose kind­ness and giv­ing, and the joy from that ful­fils me. Even if I go back in time, I would make the same choice again.

re­gret­table mo­ments of my life, but even still, I keep my faith in God’s will.” Re­fus­ing to be de­feated, Bar­bara pulled through the tragedy and coura­geously em­barked on a jour­ney of char­ity work.

Through her ex­per­tise and ex­pe­ri­ence in busi­ness and ad­min­is­tra­tive roles, she raised out­stand­ing sums in do­na­tion funds that went di­rectly to­wards many char­i­ties such as Foun­da­tion For Aged Care, where she raised funds for pro­grams such as Pal­lia­tive Care, Bet­ter Bal­ance De­men­tia care and raised cap­i­tal funds for high care fa­cil­ity to men­tion a few. At the San Foun­da­tion, she raised $23m for San In­te­grated Can­cer Cen­tre, one of her high­est achieve­ments, and also funded life-sav­ing equip­ments, Pal­lia­tive Care Nurse, Breast Nav­i­ga­tors and var­i­ous other pro­grams, re­search and ed­u­ca­tion, as well as other projects to help pa­tients in need.

Over the years, Bar­bara re­ceived many awards in­clud­ing Lo­cal Woman of the Year in 2017 for Kur­ing-gai Coun­cil.

Bar­bara men­tioned her fam­ily val­ues were also a great in­flu­ence on her choice, “My mother had been do­ing char­ity work, and my fa­ther worked as a church pas­tor.” No mat­ter how heavy the weight of her past felt, Bar­bara did not com­plain, but in­stead she felt grate­ful to­wards her new stage in life. “I am ex­tremely for­tu­nate: my cur­rent hus­band and I share a very solid re­la­tion­ship. He is the most im­por­tant per­son in my life, be­cause with­out him I would not be where I am to­day.” Bar­bara is also pop­u­lar within main­stream char­i­ties and is ad­mired and loved by many. “Some­one joked that I re­sem­bled Mother Teresa. But ac­tu­ally, no one un­der­stands that to help those in need is a joy in it­self, and I take it as a priv­i­lege to make a dif­fer­ence.”

“Per­haps the mis­for­tune in my ear­lier years is what helped me un­der­stand the hap­pi­ness in be­ing able to give.” Money and fame can only go so far, but the com­pas­sion and hu­mil­ity that Bar­bara shares with the world ex­tends with­out end, and has changed the lives of many. “So many times my friends and I have as­sisted in the homes of dis­ad­van­taged peo­ple, cook­ing, clean­ing, giv­ing food and clothes and sort­ing… it may seem like a sim­ple ges­ture, but help like this makes a valu­able dif­fer­ence.” When­ever some­body would marvel at her achieve­ments and her per­se­ver­ance, Bar­bara al­ways re­sponded humbly and sin­cerely, “It is God who gives me strength.”

Dur­ing our con­ver­sa­tion, Bar­bara would laugh hap­pily, and oc­ca­sion­ally, her eyes would tear up as she touches on more hurt­ful mem­o­ries, the kind of pain that is kept buried deep within. Yet what sur­prised me most is that de­spite ev­ery­thing she has en­dured, she is still able to cre­ate hope for peo­ple through gen­uine kind­ness. She said “If I didn’t en­counter these ex­pe­ri­ences, do you think I would still be who I am to­day?”

At this, we both laughed.

PHOTO CREDIT: ZI YUN

Bar­bara Ward was named ‘Ku-ring-gai Lo­cal Woman of the Year’ for 2017. (Left to right: Alis­ter Henskens MP, Leon Clark Chair­man of San Foun­da­tion, Mrs Bar­bara Ward, The Hon. Pru Goward, The Hon Paul Fletcher MP)芭芭拉獲得Kur­ing­gai市政府2017年最佳女性獎

Bar­bara Ward and NSW Pre­mier Gla­dys Bere­jik­lian

Bar­bara Ward and for­mer NSW Pre­mier Mike Baird

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