Barnie van Wyk: Looking back on 2019

So this is Christmas and what have you done?

Christmas is a time for reflection, so the Catholic Voice asked twelve prominent Catholics to share their thoughts on 2019


Barnie van Wyk, CEO St Vincent de Paul Society Canberra/Goulburn

Highlight of 2019

Annette and I celebrated our 25-year wedding anniversary with a fantastic holiday. And St Vincent de Paul Soci­ety Canberra/ Goulburn had the best CEO Sleepout ever.

A low point

Witnessing the destructive impact of the drought on families. The Govern­ment asked Vinnies to help in provid­ing $3,000 cash payments to farmers, farm workers and farm suppliers/con­tractors in 122 drought-affected areas.

A professional achievement

Honoring my parents by reflecting on their wisdom and lifelong commitment to community and people.

A personal achievement

A personal goal was to keep my fitness levels up amid a gruelling schedule. I am happy to tick the box and managed to shed a couple of kilos as well – all prepared for Christmas dinner.

Something I have learned

Recently in a meeting a colleague seemed distracted. When I learned the reason I realized I should always be mindful that I have no idea what has happened in someone’s life in the 10 minutes before I meet them.

A news event that affected me

I recently saw a documentary on poverty in third world countries and how countries in pursuit of wealth and resources are impacting on the envi­ronment, community and humanity. Is that the legacy we want to leave?

How I approach 2020

How often do we arrive at our work­place with a smile? It is an amazing ‘thing’ and extremely contagious. I will be smiling more and wish to use the opportunity to pray for a safe and blessed Christmas for all.

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In the 12 days leading up to Christmas we will be sharing daily reflections looking back on 2019. You can find the other reflections here.

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