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Chris' story

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Chris' story

It’s difficult to imagine Mater without Chris Hill.

For more than 33 years he’s been not just a colleague, but friend, to many Mater People.

After joining Mater on 7 March 1984 as a Junior Clerk in Accounts Payable, Chris’ diverse range of roles have included various administration roles, Budget Control, Director of Administration and Finance Neonatology, Director of Administrative Services, Project Officer, and most recently Director, Environmental Sustainability.

As he prepares to farewell his ‘Mater family’, Chris reflects on three decades of memories.

“It’s hard to pick just one moment—there are so many—moments shared with close friends, moments of grief which have brought us together, moments of joy and laughter, all of which I’ll keep with me,” Chris said.

One memory which does stand out goes back to his early days, when Sr Angela Mary Doyle was Hospital Administrator.

“When I started in Accounts Payable, we didn’t have computers and electronic funds transfer did not exist, so one of my jobs was to take all of the cheques to Sr Angela Mary each day for approval.

“Most days, I would knock on the door and Sister would call me in and sign them right away and I’d be in and out within five minutes.

“This one particular day though, I put the cheques down in front of her and she asked me ‘what’s this one for?’ and I had to reply with ‘I don’t know, Sister’.

“She proceeded to ask me the same question for each cheque she signed, and I replied with the same response. When she finished, she handed them back to me and said ‘you don’t know much, do you?’ and I replied with ‘no, Sister’ as I raced away.”

“The next day before I went to see her, I made sure I knew what all the cheques were for, and marched up to her office, my chest puffing out.

“She proceeded to sign each cheque without stopping to ask me anything about them. “I said ‘Sister, if you need to know what any of these cheques are for, I can tell you about all of them’. She simply smiled, looked at me and said ‘I don’t want to know today.’”

Every time he tells the story, Chris can’t help but laugh. It’s a laugh which is familiar to most Mater People. A laugh we’ve heard during many a Mater Revue (an annual talent show within which Mater People would participate), over a cup of coffee, or when he’d make a joke as he said ‘hello’ to the many Mater People he’d encounter during the day.

It’s these Mater People Chris believes, which makes us different.

“We’re the size of a small town, but we are a family. I’ve met so many people who’ve become good friends, and will remain so for the rest of my life.

“The care and kindness they demonstrate, to not only patients, but colleagues alike, truly is our Mission in action.

"It’s not about a paid role, it’s about who we are, and ensuring we do our best for Mater,” he said.

Being so fond of our team, Chris sadly reflects on the friends he’s lost during his time at Mater.

“Losing wonderful friends such as Des Crockett (Budget Control), Owen McGuiness (former Manager of Personnel Services), Debbie Sargent (Management Accountant) and Carol Dawson, who interviewed a 17 year-old kid out of high school and took a chance on him—yeah, that’s pretty tough,” Chris said.

During the course of the past 33 years, Chris has witnessed significant change, not only across roles, but the organisation as a whole, but while change is inevitable, there is something which remains steadfast—Chris Hill is a Mater Person.

Whether he’s here, or fulfilling his new role (Environmental Sustainability Project Manager for the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea), Mater will always be part of Chris.

“It’s been an honour and a privilege to work at Mater; I will always carry with me fond memories, and Mater will always be part of who I am.”

We’ll miss you Chris (especially that laugh!).

Posted: 25/05/2017 9:06:15 AM by News @ Mater | with 1 comments

Tags: Mission, The Heart of Mater

Steve Dobson
I was so very lucky to meet Chris on my very first day with the Mater family in 2006, and immediately friended him and regard him as a lifelong friend. What a wonderful story and what a wonderful person he is. I am so much the better for knowing him.
25/05/2017 10:02:10 PM

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