Tribe You Choose – Don Newman

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Today, I want to honour an amazing human, and an important member of my tribe. A humble, gentle man, who I knew for over 22 years and was blessed to call my good friend and family. I have no doubt that Don has influenced me in ways that I don’t even recognise. I do know that I would not be where I am or who I am today, if not for him. Don’s passing was unexpected and while I know losing someone you love is always horrendous, losing him without notice seems to be that much worse.

Don was first and foremost a loving father and this was the role he cherished the most. For a lot of people, myself included, Don was a mentor and strong support through many trying life events. While Don was large in stature (6’5”), he was quietly spoken, with high standards for himself and others and was always ready and willing to help.

With a wicked sense of humour, strong views of right and wrong, and an even stronger desire for fairness and honesty, Don had an endless capacity for learning and understanding the human condition. Don had a brilliant mind with a love of all things technical and of nature.

Don inspired those around him to believe in themselves and to become more than they thought was ever possible. The world has lost a brilliant mind and there is a gaping hole, that will remain for many, but especially his children Belinda, Matthew and Stephanie (and also my son, Liam). Don was taken too soon and his loss will be felt forever, but we will cherish each and every memory.

Losing such an important member of my tribe is a reminder to dream your greatest life and don’t wait to make it happen. That is what Don did, a “Farmers son from Munduberra”, who worked exceptionally hard and positively impacted so many in his career and life.

I know that is what he would want for all of us, to dream and choose our greatest lives and make it happen.

So don’t wait for when you are going to start, because if you haven’t already started then the only time start is NOW.

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