All things towards a great adventure. All things for and with our friends, the community we all share. Addi Road hit the highway to Canberra on Friday to be at the ceremony that saw Samantha Joy Mostyn sworn in as the 28th Governor-General of Australia.
Sam has been a fantastic supporter of Addi Road ever since Covid lockdown days, when she started turning up to pack emergency food hampers for people in need – work she continued to do when floods hit the north and cost-of-living pressures knocked people even further sideways.
We know her as a person of vision and warmth, working side-by-side with whoever has needed a hand, listening to the stories of the many who have come to the community centre here in Marrickville over these last few years.
Addi Road CEO Rosanna Barbero says, “What strikes me most about Sam is her grace and humility. She is someone who will use her influence for the good of others.”
“You see her humility in the way she holds herself and in the vision she has for the post of Governor-General. “The words she spoke, her speech at the swearing-in ceremony, its emphasis on kindness was profound. People make speeches like that all the time, I know, words that mean nothing and that no one remembers. Sam’s speech was something else. Every sentence mattered and held something true.
“I know when she goes out there, around and into the country, to represent the post of Governor-General, it’s her warmth and humility that will show how deeply she listens, that will allow her to generate a real knowledge of Australia from what others tell her. She is going to do a great job for everyone.”
Gurwinder Kaur, Addi Road’s Office Manager and PA to Rosanna, was on the ride to Canberra as well – and at the ceremony with our representative Marrickville gang. Gurwinder calls Sam Mostyn “a beautiful soul. I can say that because I know her.” She points to her eyes. “I have seen the way she works, how she talks to people.”
From a small village in Sahlon in India’s Punjab, Gurwinder has made her way from her father’s poultry farm to a double Masters in law and political science, leaving her qualifications behind to begin a new life in Australia and start from scratch again. She gained her citizenship in 2013 and jokes now, “I am married to Addi Road.”
She reflects on the journey from Sahlon to Addi Road and Canberra, a farm girl in India who finds herself able to call Australia’s new Governor-General a friend. “Sam said to me she is not used to seeing me in a suit. She told me, ‘Suits suit you!’ We laughed about that.”
Gurwinder describes the many good feelings of the day. The camaraderie of the Addi Road crew on the road. And how Sam Mostyn, the 28th Governor-General of Australia, on a very big day, still made plenty of time for all her visitors.
“She took my hands like this,” Gurwinder says, holding up her own hands, fingers clasped together. “Sam put both her hands around mine. Both hands holding me. She is a great woman and she is beautiful.”