A quick shout-out to our wonderful daughter, Erin, who graduated Year Twelve during the week.

She’s had an eventful life, our girl. De-mothered at 4 days old, stuck with a grief-stricken and useless father for the first year of life, lumped in a procession of day care centres as I struggled to combine unplanned single parenthood with returning to work… a succession of schools as we moved from Huntingdale to Morley to Huntingdale again to Clarkson to Mandurah to Rockingham to, finally, Karratha… And through it all, she has grown into a fine young person, filled with grace and humour and intelligence and warmth.

It was Erin who decided the woman I was dating was meant to be her Mummy and started calling her so (We’ve been married 14 years, now).  She was the dux of her primary school. A Junior City Councillor. House Captain at two High Schools. Academically adept. Artistically talented. Loyal to others and attracting of great loyalty in turn. Deeply capable as a human being. With a strong moral compass and sense of right, and a deep understanding of the right way to be a part of her friendship group, community, a culture.

She didn’t get any of that from me.

And now she’s finished her schooling. Once again, she did herself proud, winning the award for the top Visual Arts student. Her final set of exams awaits. The the University offer we have absolutely no doubt will arrive in early December. Her siblings plan to come up for Christmas. When they leave, she’ll be going with them, first to a holiday in Malaysia, and then to the room they’ve already organised for her at their house in Perth. Our household, which once held seven, and has consisted of the four of us for nearly eight years, will shrink to three.

She’s got an amazing future ahead of her. She’s earned an amazing future. There is no ceiling she cannot breach, and no limit she need set herself.

There is no way I can think of in which we are not overcome with pride in who she is, what she has achieved, and the standards to which she holds herself.



Our brilliant young woman.