Name: Kerrie Patterson
Motherhood is about as challenging and demanding a responsibility as you could find. No matter what you have on your plate in terms of work or other commitments, no one can deny that raising a family is a full-time job in itself.
Many mothers, however, raise their children while juggling other responsibilities.
Kerry Patterson is one such “super mum” who not only devotes herself to her children but also volunteers a great deal of her time to helping students at the Bonnells Bay Public School on the NSW Central Coast. At the same time, she is studying to become a primary teacher and working in Aboriginal education for TAFE NSW.
Kerry grew up in the southern suburbs of Sydney before moving with her family to Lake Macquarie 10 years ago. She has a son, Wyatt, who is seven, and a daughter, Jarrah, who is 10.
“I’m involved with Aboriginal cultural awareness, and I help drive reconciliation at the school,” says Kerry. “I make sure that reconciliation is always a part of the school’s agenda.
“I’m also involved with the Aboriginal Mentorship Program and the environmental committee, which recently got some funding for an Aboriginal native plant garden.”
As well as writing grants to gain more money for extra programs, Kerry helps teachers and students, works with a special group on social skills and self esteem, and spends her weekends at school gardening and painting.
“I enjoy working with the kids and teachers, and I believe it’s important for them to have positive role models in their lives every day,” says Kerry.
“One of the most positive things that I really enjoy doing is working with all the great kids and teachers from 2L,” says Kerry.
Two young people who certainly appreciate and benefit from Kerry’s efforts and devotion are her two children.
” My children are everything to me, and everything that I do is done to help them in the future,” says Kerry. “And because they realise that, they are really supportive of me.”
To help her children learn the right lessons in life, Kerry tells them dreamtime stories that teach the importance of caring, sharing and being honest.
“One of my favourite dreamtime stories that I tell my children is the story of Tidalick the frog,” says Kerry. “I tell them that story to help them understand why it is important not to be greedy in life and I have also painted a mural of Tidalick at the school.
“Seeing your children grow into the people that you want them to be, and displaying the moral values you have shown them, is the most rewarding thing about being a mother.
“And the most important thing I teach my kids is to be black and proud.”