We were lucky to have you
by Aliison Kelly and friends
Vivien Clear was the most amazing woman. Her whole working life was spent in pursuit of helping others. Lismore was lucky to have her living amongst us from 2000-2003.
During this time she was the manager of the Womens Health Centre where she instigated a number of projects that reached out into the community. She was involved in the documentary The Man Who Stole My Mothers Face and was instrumental in co-ordinating the Activating Human Rights and Diversity Conference in 2003, which drew more than 600 people from 17 countries. Under her guidance the centre also funded a short film on racism, which won a local film award, and she co-convened the Youth on Justice program.
Vivien also organised a local production of the award winning play, The Vagina Monologues, and in doing so raised over $3000 for the Womens Health Centre in one night.
Even though she only spent three years in Lismore, she quickly became part of the community and touched the lives of many during her time here. Friends talk of her compassion and dignity, and her belief that everyone deserved a chance in life.
Laura Henkel, who met Vivien while making the film The Man Who Stole My Mothers Face, said Vivien was one of those rare people who always had time for others.
I told Vivien on one occasion that I had difficulty in contacting her as she was so busy. This is usually the trigger for a person to tell you just how much they have to do and how precious their time is. But not Vivien, recalled Laura. She said, I will have to cultivate an impression of not being too busy to talk to people. Coming from a person you know is busy, this impressed me so much I have never forgotten it. I do hope that somewhere along the line she knew how many lives she influenced and changed.
After leaving Lismore in 2003, Vivien went to the Blue Mountains where she worked in disability enterprises, before travelling to the Netherlands to work with the International Criminal Court.
Vivien died peacefully after a long battle with lymphatic cancer at her sisters home last Wednesday, surrounded by those who loved her. She will be especially missed by her son Kia.
While she may be gone, thousands of women across the world who never met her will be helped through her extraordinary work on this planet.
The world is a sadder place without you Vivien. You were a real angel.
A tree planting service will be held for Vivien in the park opposite the Winsome Hotel where the two rivers meet this Sunday, July 30, at 3pm. Anyone who had the privilege of knowing Vivien is welcome. For more info phone Aliison on 6621 6079.