Nic | Hillcrest

“I grew up in the country, in the Waikato, up on a dairy farm. My dad was a farmer and my mum basically supported him at home. I went to a Catholic school. I grew up a Catholic. Um, I went to church all the time, and confession and all that kind of thing.

I’m not a practicing Catholic anymore. I didn’t excel particularly at school, but once I left school I was a legal secretary for awhile, in my hometown, and then I moved to Auckland, and then I went overseas for a couple of years, and when I came back I was a recruitment consultant. Then I did sport management degree. Then I was a contract manager, and now a project management in the waste industry.

So I’ve sort of done a whole lot of different things. Ah, but the reason I did my degree was because I wanted to see if I could actually do it, and I certainly didn’t feel like that when I was at school. I didn’t think that I was that smart, but I proved that I was more than capable of doing it, and ah thank goodness I did, because it completely changed my life.

Random act of kindness

Oh a random act of kindness; I suppose I do it most days, most days of the week with the traffic. I let people in, which I notice a lot of other people don’t do, and I think it doesn’t take much out of your life.

Why I think it’s important to let people in the traffic… I think it’s probably about us all getting along and being respectful of each other, it’s just a nice thing to do, and that’s how I was raised. You don’t think of yourself. You’re not in this world for yourself. You’re here to actually help other people. So I just think it’s really important to do those acts of kindness, and it actually doesn’t even feel like an act of kindness. It just feels like the right thing to do.

In the past I had a couple of really good teachers when I was at school. An English teacher in particular, when I was in, well we call it fourth or fifth form – now they call it different years, who really took me under his wing and showed me that I had promise, and was just really kind to me.

Connected to your culture

Oh, that’s a very, ah connected to my culture; that’s a very tricky question. Um, connected to my culture? Oh, I’m not sure, really. I’m not sure how connected I feel to my culture, to be honest.

I know when I first came, and maybe this is off-topic, but when I first came to Auckland, it was a very different to culture than the one it is now, but um, I actually don’t think about cultures. I just think that we’re all one big culture, so I don’t think like that. I have a lot of conversations with people about this… Um I don’t see people for, that they’re from different places.

I just see that we all live in this environment and that we all need to get on, and some people might have been raised differently or been raised in different countries, and they have different ways of living, but I just think it’s really important that we all get along and don’t see people as this is my environment and this is my world and this is my country. I don’t think it’s anyone’s country.

I think it’s everyone’s country and people have a right to live where they want to live, and I feel very, very sorry for people who live in war torn countries and refugees, and they’re trying to live in a better place, and they’re in no-man’s land, and I think it’s very sad, because I think it’s luck of the draw where you were born, and I’m very lucky that I was born here.

Heart to heart conversation

Ah, I have an 11 year old son and I’m a single mum, so I have lots and lots of heart to heart conversations with my son, because I suppose I want to in the future and now have a really close relationship with him. So we talk a lot about bullying at school. We talk about how he feels about things. We talk about anything that he’s worried about. So I do that on a day to day basis.

I think it’s really, really important to have open dialogue with loved ones. Particularly recently in the papers they’ve been doing that whole series on suicide, and when I think of the way I was brought up, that kids were seen and not heard; sure we had conversations with our parents, but we didn’t have many heart to heart conversations. As a child, particularly the way I grew up, you were meant to do as you were told, and children mixed with children, but you didn’t have heart to heart conversations with your parents.

Part of that was because of how they were raised, but part of it was because there were so many children, and that wasn’t what they were used to, but I certainly want my son to be open and honest with me, so that particularly if anything happens in the future that he feels that he can ring me up or contact me in some sort of way and say, Mum I’m in trouble, what do I do, can you come and help me.

Connected with someone you didn’t know

Oh okay, someone I connected with recently… I went to a seminar earlier in the week. It was a health and safety seminar and I met some people that I’d never met before. I do a lot of that kind of connecting day to day anyway, because of my job. I made some really good connections, and now I know two new people and we’re going to help each other.”

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