Barb Heine died at 9.30 on the morning of March 30, 2010.
Mum died on her own terms giving, loving and strong to the very end.
She loved life, loved a challenge even more and took on this illness the way she took on everything. With boundless energy, humour, generosity and unparalleled tenacity.
We love her and we will miss her forever.
FROM THE SUNBURY/MACEDON RANGES TELEGRAPH
BY JESSICA FOULDS
26 Jan, 2010
GIVING to other people is the best way to be a happy person, according to Mount Macedon resident Barbara Heine.
The 64-year-old has been awarded the Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia for service to the community through her work with hippotherapy - a health service division of the Riding for the Disabled Association - and to children and their families through her personal charity, the Kids and Families Foundation.
A unique approach to rehabilitation, hippotherapy is a treatment provided to children and adults with brain damage by specially trained physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists using equine movement.
Ms Heine said she was extremely surprised to learn she would receive the medal.
"It's a lovely recognition, but you don't do it for any other reason than it's a passion. I've been involved in philanthropy for a long time and I've always been a volunteer and that's why it's a humbling surprise.
"You don't expect it and when it's so unexpected, you think 'isn't it wonderful that someone noticed'?"
Ms Heine has been involved in hippotherapy for 20 years and been chairwoman of the hippotherapy committee for the Riding for the Disabled Association Australia, now known as RideAbility, since 2003.
She stumbled upon the therapy while living in the US in 1987 and brought it back to Australia in 1994.
"I've been a physio all my life and a horse person all my life," she said. "So it was like God had given me the gift of the perfect job. It was the most natural marriage for me of the two things I love and I love kids. I've seen it result in a wonderfully positive change in a child's ability to function. It didn't exist in Australia before then, so all the physios that practice here now I have trained."
Hippotherapy is available in Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria, but Ms Heine said her goal was to one day have a solid program running in every state. The program is on hold in Victoria as Ms Heine has been battling a rare and aggressive lymphoma for 18 months.
But she continues to work with the Kids and Families Foundation she founded in 2003.
Her personal foundation places a heavy focus on children who have been in foster care. Recipients of funds include Time for Kids Inc, Scope Victoria, Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare scholarships, the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation, the Macedon Ranges Adventure Playground and Heads Together Camp. "Every penny that goes into it comes from me. It's my money and that's why I decided to be sole director," she said.
"It's lovely because I can make it very personal and that's how I want to keep it. It's not the big sums of money that make the difference, it's directing them to the right place."
With the support of her three children, Peta, Kate and Marc, Ms Heine said she hoped for remission from her illness so she could become more involved in her passions once again.
"This award is so amazing because most people don't know I do this.
"It's very special and it's come at a very unspecial time in my life and that's nice too."
|There are 7 personal tributes|
April 8th, 2010 at 11:27 pm
The WORLD lost a wonderful person...Barb Heine you will be forever in my heart and my thoughts thankyou for making the world a better place..... And thankyou from all the children in the future your works & passions will benefit..Love and wishes to Pete, Kate, Marc & Famlies....It makes me proud knowing such a wonderful and giving family
April 7th, 2010 at 10:11 pm
Vale Barb. My sincere condolence to the family. My first contact was 1994 in Canberra. I later realised that Barb Peters was a year above me in Physio studies at Lincoln Institute. We always notice those above! I share the disability/horse therapeutic passion and hope Barb's vision is realised. Love to the family that was so important to her.
|Mary Lou and Mark|
April 7th, 2010 at 10:28 am
I have known Barb over 25 years, and was privileged to be a part of her life when she first started at NCEFT. What she accomplished with that program was nothing short of a mircle. She kept growing and expanding the scope of their mission, and touched so many lives that her memory will live on forever! I never expected to have a disabled child, but I did, and he was not a piece of cake to raise. Watching this little boy with no balance, unable to walk, sit on a horse and improve in strength and balance was a sight to behold. And watching Barb threaten to "throw him in a ditch" when he got cranky was even funnier. It worked. Barb developed a program that is now international, and has made a huge difference to so many people. I will miss her very much- her warmth, her outrageous sense of humor, her commitment to those in need of help, and her selflessness. Marc, Kate, and Petra- I can't imagine the sense of loss you must have. I am grieving with you. Carry on with Barb's wonderful spirit within you. With much love and sorrow- Mary Lou and Mark
April 6th, 2010 at 12:47 pm
I met Barb through Kate and Camp, wow was she one proud mum of what her children had accomplished with the camp and everything else they did, She was proud of all the kids at camp it was like they were her own too, We use to sit and talk and cry and laugh, Barb you meant the world to me and will xox always be there at camp with us. Love you forever and always .xox Love to kate, pete and their families, and thank you for making a difference to so many lives
|Mary Lou and Mark Williams|
April 5th, 2010 at 3:37 pm
It is 10:30 PM here on Easter Sunday, and I just got an e-mail from Edith. I would very much like the e-mail addresses for Peta, Kate, and Marc,so i could respond personally to them. They are great kids, and I adored Barb, and I don't especially want my tribute published in the Newspaper. It's too personal and profound.