The Kentish Team
Lavinia Mills, the Founder and Director of Kentish Lifelong Learning & Care Inc. sadly passed away in May 2014 and leaves a huge legacy to the Northern Territory family day care profession.
During the last 20 years, there would be very few people living in Darwin who would not have come into contact with or heard about the dynamic Lavinia Mills – Founder and Director of Kentish Lifelong Learning and Care Inc.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2014, Kentish was Lavinia’s pride and joy. From humble beginnings, starting only with a small group of family day care educators and services, Kentish has grown steadily under Lavinia’s leadership.
In recent years, Lavinia introduced the Absolutely Top Care NT program, which offers child care and imparts life skills, cultural heritage skills and personal development to all participating children. Lavinia also played an integral part in developing the training, motivation and resourcing arm of Kentish, making it the thriving Northern Territory childhood education and care organisation it is today.
Lavinia’s mantra was – ‘Valuing each child, communities and each other’, and it remains our company motto. We have always ensured that each child receives high-quality outcomes for each day spent in a Kentish approved home or space.
Unfortunately, Lavinia passed away in May 2014. Her family and friends, as well as the Kentish staff, educators and children, celebrated Lavinia’s rich life on June 6. One of the sights that will stay in everyone’s minds was 70 children and teenagers each holding a teal coloured balloon (teal was Lavinia’s favourite colour and she passed away just short of her 70th birthday), lined up at the edge of the beach in front of the Trailer Boat Club, Darwin. As we shared Lavinia’s favourite quote – “anything is possible” – the children and teenagers released the balloons skyward.
It is safe to say there was not a dry eye at the reception.
So how do you ever replace someone as unique, loving, giving and caring as Lavinia? Well, the reality is, Lavinia can’t be replaced. However, her memory and legacy live on in the children who were in her care, as well as the NT Family Day Care and Absolutely Top Care educators (now called Out of Home Care) and staff whom she hand-picked and believed in.
Lavinia was a leader and her legacy will survive and thrive as Kentish Lifelong Learning and Care Inc. continues to grow.
Vale Lavinia Mills