Passionate community advocate Kate Hutten from Mid Coast Care is presenting a breakfast talk on her own life that will inspire, shock, motivate and fill you with hope. We find out more.
You’re the guest speaker at the upcoming Mid Coast Care Breakfast Series, which is a personal story of your life. Tell us a little about your childhood.
My parents adopted us three, being unable to have children. Miraculously, they did have a little baby, and then our mum died when the baby was only 2. A beautiful mum she was, and I can still remember how lovely she was. Adapting is a reasonably easy thing for a kid to do, as they know no different. For us it was not only that of adapting, but one of survival. When she died, I was only five, my second brother was six and the eldest eight. This news my brothers and I got to hear, one by one in the front yard of the house we were being looked after at the time of her sickness and death. I don’t remember knowing that she was sick, let alone to be told simply on that day in the front yard, your mother’s dead. That is the only memory I have of that day.
Your father remarried after the death of your mother. How hard was that experience in your life?
Two years later, my dad, who had become both mum and dad, re-married a lady who also had 2 boys. I remember so looking forward to having a mummy again. When they married, our household was not unlike the story of Cinderella. We four kids were only able to witness the love she poured out on her own two boys. For myself and my three brothers, we were at the harsh end of either a brutal tongue or a hand of retribution, or instruction that was supposedly for our own good, as we were lying, thieving little mongrels.
You escaped to a new family, travelling with carnival side shows. What’s the life of a ‘carnie’ like?
Life as a ‘carnie’ was very interesting. I got to see a lot of Australia as I travelled, but it was a very different world. It was a bit of an escape for me from the scary place I found the world to be, but with it came drugs and alcohol. It was a place where it was acceptable to work under the influence of drugs and for entertainment in each town, we would hit the pub and drink like fish. I remember thinking after a year, “Well, this place hasn’t done me any favours; I am worse than I was when I arrived”. Then I continued there for another two years.
You had a long history of drugs at a early age. How did you know that you wanted to break out of the lifestyle?
Just before I joined the sideshows at the age of 19, I had a frightening experience taking LSD and while I never partook of that drug again, the other stuff that I had a reliance on was an everyday part of my life. I was very aware, throughout the next 3 years, that it was not only my best friend, as it got me from one day to the next; it was also my worst enemy. It seemed to me, that the older I got, the uglier my life got, and I didn’t seem to have the ‘grit to right myself’. I did wonder what would become of me and my life; was this the pattern, and there was no way out?
Finding your real father with your brother, was that an emotional journey?
It was something I had never had any desire to do; however, my brother, who had always, always, wanted to find his real family, whether I liked it or not, took me on that journey. In the end, it was not only a wonderful thing that my brother found his real family, but it brought into my life an awareness of how lucky I was. Truly, it was a crazy journey and with it came crazy emotions, but I am a much more appreciative person because of the journey of finding not just one father, but two.
Without giving away too much, give us an insight into your philosophy for life given what you have learned.
Every man, woman and child needs hope, needs a friend. Each one of us, all on our own unique journey, but through relationships we can care and share hope. My journey has been one where along the way, there have been people who have given me a need for hope, or better still, brought me hope, or shared hope. My life is now a desire to give and share hope, and Mid Coast Care Hope Shop is a place that fits me well. I have found freedom in my life, and my hope is to be a help and hope to others whose life has ensnared them.
What are you hoping people who attend might take away from your story?
The desire behind these breakfasts and Mid Coast Care is to bring inspiration into the lives of those attending. It’s a place of encouragement and with it, being my own story this time, I would hope people would leave the breakfast with an ear that is able to hear perhaps those around them that are suffering, someone who needs a somebody to care, a somebody to bring a glimmer of hope to a parched heart. Community and relationships are a very real and tangible part of Mid Coast Care; it’s those same ingredients that could bring help or the turning point in someone’s life. In God’s eyes, every person is special, and every single one matters.
Kate’s Inspirational story is on Friday 4 November from 6.45am to 8.30am at Rydges. Cost is $25 pp (all proceeds go towards MCC Hope Shop).
Everyone welcome. For bookings, phone 0418 861 487 or email firstname.lastname@example.org