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