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Peter's story

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Peter's story

For the past 18 years, Peter Martin has quietly worked to help enrich the journey of all whom he encounters.

As Mater’s Director of Mission Support, he’s focussed on helping people, ‘without an agenda’.

“It’s a luxury really, to be focussed on just being with, and there for, people,” he said.

Commencing at Mater in 1998 as a Pastoral Carer, when asked why he’s stayed at Mater for almost two decades, Peter answers with that very word—why.

“I think it’s about the ‘why’. Why does Mater exist? We exist to help people. It is what drives the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ we help people, but it’s always the ‘why’ that guides us.

“I think it’s why most people stay at Mater—we are all committed to helping people,” he said.  

In his role, this often means Peter assists patients to find meaning in their experience.

“It’s often a somewhat paradoxical balance of suffering while being at peace. To help people navigate their way through sorrow, and come to the realisation that their situation is life, not life going wrong, is one of the most genuinely rewarding aspects of what we do.

“I believe there is always light in the darkness, it just often comes from patience and faith,” he said.

Finding the light can often be hard, for both patients and staff, especially during moments of helplessness.

“Our people work so hard to put their patients first, that those moments where an illness can’t be cured, where we know someone’s journey is going to end, they’re always difficult,” he said.  

While he’s witnessed many moments during his time at Mater, the one that stands out for Peter encapsulates finding the extraordinary in the seemingly ordinary.

“We had a patient who’d come in for a knee operation. Her story was one of intense suffering. She’d had a really difficult journey, and I remember her saying ‘this is the first holiday I’ve had in 30 years.’

“That moment really stuck with me. Here was this lady, who was gracious when she could have reacted in many other understandable ways,” he said.

While Peter primarily cares for our patients, his support also extends to Mater People.

 “I think providing a gentle presence helps support staff during a difficult situation. I’m often contacted by teams who ask ‘can you help us?’, and in that moment, they don’t need any drama added to their situation, they need someone who can almost fly under the radar, and see where the support is needed … and then provide it. It’s as simple as that, really.”

Peter’s interpretation of ‘mercy in action’ is the very element he’s shown with grace to everyone at Mater for the past 18 years.

 ‘Kindness every day. Being kind, and responding with kindness. That’s mercy in action.’

Thank you Peter, for being kind to us all.

Posted: 13/10/2016 8:41:45 AM by News @ Mater | with 0 comments

Tags: Mission, The Heart of Mater

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