65 and I’m not finished yet! – Bron Williams – Australia

Born the same year as the Melbourne Olympics.

Born the same year television came to Australia.

Born 5 years after my parents married when they were considering adopting.

The eldest of three children in a family where love was assumed but never expressed…no hugs, no “I love you”. But in which me and my siblings were safe and, although not a wealthy family, really wanted for nothing.

A creative high achiever who cried in class, at age 9, when I scored 18/20 on a maths test rather than getting everything right. Somewhere along the line I’d decided that if I could just be “good enough” then my parents would tell me they were proud of me.

I took that mantra into marriage to a man I took a long time to realise was passive-aggressive – it morphed into “if only I can get this right” then the marriage would be happy. The hardest decision I ever made was to sit across the table from my husband of 28 years and tell him I was leaving and, when he said “No” to reply (hands gripped together in my lap), “Yes.”

At age 8, I decided I wanted to be a teacher and followed that course. I taught kinder  to year 6, children with disabilities, pre-school, taught high school role part-time, had an adult education role at the NSW Police College, and even did a stint as a chaplain in aged care. My 15+years of casual teaching stood me in good stead when she taught a multi-grade class – seven grades in one room, K-6.

Post-divorce I trained with The Salvation Army, became an ordained minister, running a church and welfare centre. I was privileged to conduct funerals, as families let her into their lives at a time of great grief. My most precious “achievement” was helping a woman living with schizophrenia navigate various medical and government bodies to find a safe place to live. It was during this time that I went to Nauru and worked with asylum seekers – and was confronted for the first time by my biases of racism and white privilege.

At age 60, I stepped out into business on my own confronting my ageist biases about what “women at my age should be doing”. Now, as The Bias Specialist, I do my best, not to seek approval, but to make the most of opportunities.

I am doing what I always believed I could. I am doing, in the last third of life, that one thing I was put on this earth to do – to speak to the unconscious bias that is simply part of the way we think but which lies beneath all the inequity and injustice experienced and perpetuated across the globe.

You can contact me on the following ways:

Bron Williams
The Bias Specialist
Making Bias Conscious