Fitting Farewell for Beloved Matriarch

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
22 Jan 2018

Byline: David Ryan

Kim Hill's funeral was a fitting testament to the key loves of her life - her family, indigenous heritage and Catholic faith.

Hundreds of mourners packed St Andrew's Catholic Church in Malabar on 19 January to celebrate the mother-of-three's remarkable life.

Mrs Hill, a Dunghutti woman, was raised in La Perouse and became a beloved matriarch in indigenous education and a hero in the faith through her work directing the Aboriginal Catholic Ministries.

"There was no question of her kind, humble, gentle spirit or her devotion to educating our young indigenous," said Cath Campbell in her eulogy.

"Kim inspired and an empowered many to achieve their greatest dreams."

The Mass, celebrated by four priests and Auxiliary Bishop Terry Brady, was a symphony of colour and sound, reflecting both Mrs Hill's life as a talented artist as well as the beauty of God's love which emanated from her heart to enrich the lives she encountered.

"God doesn't touch us in a vacuum [but] through the love, kindness, compassion and justice we do and receive," said Father Claude Mostowik in his homily.

"The real thing we have is the love of the human heart and we came to know that through Kim in a concrete way."

Friends and family were joined by respected indigenous elders and friend of more than three decades Bishop Brady, who said: "She was a good, holy person. Simple as that. You can feel it and can see it - everyone here at the service in some way was touched by Kim."

Wayne Holten, Kim's brother, spoke of Kim's powerful spirituality: "Kim was a gem ... the faith she held out at the end was remarkable. At times, her faith encouraged me, just when I had about given up."

Kim's is survived by her husband, Peter Hill, and three children Meriki, Emily and youngest son, Timothy, who said: "Mum had the strongest sense of family and country. She was our clever woman and her story lives on in all of us."