Share a story about someone who had a positive impact on your life.


This particular assignment is one about which I have thought long and hard all day. There have been so many people who have supported and helped me throughout my life that separating them from each other and getting down to only one has been very difficult.

I thought back through the life I’ve had particularly my professional life which began in 1968.

Considering hundreds of people finally brought me down to the one person who I think is A great influence on the way I operated during the last 19 years of my professional life.

His name is Charlie Carter he was our Regional Superintendent for Education when I first came to Darwin.

Sadly, he is now deceased but what he did for me evoked eternal appreciation.

when I first took up the Principal Sheppard Leanyer School they were quite some people who were unhappy about how I started my leadership career at that school. They never came and talk to me but some of them went to Charlie Carter to talk to him, my boss, about me.

Charlie‘s response was to send me a handwritten note. He said in the note that he needed to talk to me about some concerns people had about my style of leadership. He wanted to meet away from the school. He wanted our meeting to be in a private venue and he wanted to talk to me about what people had been telling him.

I appreciated this greatly. We had a very worthwhile meeting. Mr Carter outlined the facts of the concerns that were held about me he did not criticise me but he allowed me to think things through in a way that would enable me to go forward in a corrective way.

I went away from that meeting and took on board his advice. Without a shadow of a doubt, his meeting with me in this way helped me through what became a 20-year career as principal of Leanyer School. I asked people in the aftermath of things to talk with me if they felt there were issues I could be doing differently and better. That invitation over the years was accepted and respectful relationships became the modus operandi between me, staff, parents, and students at Leanyer.

When Mr Carter died I spoke of my appreciation for what he had done for me at his funeral. This included my reading out the note he had written to me all those years ago.

I was blessed by this man who believed in helping me rather than pulling rank and giving me a hard time. He was a genuine, sincere, and committed colleague.

Yes, Charlie Carter is my number one influencer, who helped me in an uplifting manner.

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