Farewell to Julie van Oosten

Julie van Oosten has worked on and off at Mamre for the past 20 years, but now Julie and her family are in the process of emigrating to Holland, and as Julie prepares to join her family in Holland in mid-December, we thought it would be an opportune time to chat with her as she reflects on her time at Mamre. 

Why Holland?

My husband is Dutch and has now lived in Australia for 22 years, just under half his life, and he had become quite homesick. Our two girls actually identify as being Dutch as well as Australian, so we all wanted the opportunity to live there for a while to experience the Dutch way of life and spend time with the Dutch side of the family.

What are your plans for Holland?

Well first I want to really focus on my girls as they navigate their teenage years.  I also want to learn how to keep dry, sample all of the delectable cheeses, learn how to ride a bicycle strategically, learn how to speak Dutch and make the most of living in the vicinity of other European countries.

When did you start working at Mamre and what roles have you had over the past 20 years?

I began working at Mamre in 1996, first with Inga Miles in the Sibling Program (hello to all of the siblings from that era, it was a lot of fun). I was then involved in the Connections program with Rachel Drew and Regina Parley for a while and I also coordinated the Parent Support Program (now called Inspirit) for two years before going off to raise my two girls.  I returned to a Key Worker role in 2005 on both the north and south side of Brisbane and lastly began the role of Development Worker with Pave the Way in 2006.

What are some highlights of your time at Mamre?

Too many to mention.  I think overall though it is the daily expression of shared values, which makes my job not only professionally, but also personally, very satisfying. Even though these days I am presenting a lot of workshops, it is the one on one work with families that I find most interesting and rewarding. I just love the conversations that occur around a kitchen table versus an open forum. I have also really enjoyed assisting people to develop Support Circles. This work, although challenging at times, not least for the families involved, has confirmed my faith in humanity and the power of relationships to transform and sustain us. I have met so many wonderful people over the course of my work - families, staff and other service providers, many who have had such a positive impact in my life and in the life of my family. I am happy to say that in each area I’ve worked in over the 20 years at Mamre, I’ve developed some important personal relationships that continue to this day.

What’s one thing you’ve learnt from working at Mamre?

That work can be an absolute joy.

"We will truly miss Julie. Her enquiring mind and curiosity in always finding a way to do things better has had a strong influence on the Mamre community and its people. Travel well and safe Julie, as you join your family in the next stage of your journey.  We will always be thankful for who you are and what you have contributed." - Rachel Drew, Director.