Kindness is a way of life

Posted on May 07, 2017

It takes a special kind of person to pack up their belongings and move over 3,000km away from their family and loved ones to help a community of strangers. 

That's exactly what Michelle Bates did.

Michelle is an Anaiwan woman who grew up in Sydney's South West. She's also my mum.

Since she was 18, she has devoted her life to support people with disabilities and be an advocate for Australia's First People.

Her passion for empowering people saw her move to Warumungu Country in Tennant Creek in 2014, so far away from me, my brothers and city she had spent so much of her life in.

Mum works with families and individuals who are facing their children being taken into government agencies and those living with a disability without access to basic support. 

For so many people, the thought of taking a trip to the beach or going to the movies doesn't seem like a big deal but Warumungu kids in Tennant Creek have never even been in an elevator, let alone on a sandy beach. 

She made it possible for some of these kids to travel off country for trips to Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Sydney to experience the ocean, plane rides and watching a movie at the cinema for the very first time.

She is also the guardian to one girl from the local community whose family were unable to care for her and often accommodates other children, giving up her own bed and sleeping on the floor to ensure their comfort.

By always giving back, I'm proud to say that my mum inspires people around her to do the same.

Yanis Bates, AIME People and Performance sharing a story about his mum. 

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