The colourful moments Robyn Kennedy creates every day are what she calls a holiday with herself. She is unmissable in a rainbow flower crown, a bejewelled kaftan and bright red shoes.
But what sets her apart is how she cultivates joy and spreads it to everyone she meets.
Half a lifetime ago, Robyn decided she wanted to be her best self.
“I woke up when I was 30 and I’m unsure why but I thought, ‘I want to be more caring, loving, grateful, tolerant – more of all the things I love to receive,” she said.
“So, I set about on my own personal journey to do that. I rang my parents to thank them, and I just wanted to tell everyone I knew how much they mean to me and how much I love them. That feeling of joy for me is like a holiday with myself. You have to work for so much of your life and I think it’s really important to find ways to have holidays.”
Robyn loves having things to look forward to, and 2023 is a year of milestones.
On 12 November she and Dave will celebrate 40 years since they were married at Tamrookum after connecting at local dances when she was 16 and becoming soulmates.
On 18 March, she celebrates 36 years with Beaudesert Coles, in a food retail career that started at Reid’s Department Store when she was 17.
With Coles she has travelled Australia and rolled out initiatives nationally and, to the delight of local customers, has returned as Customer Service Manager at the Beaudesert store.
Robyn’s generosity of spirit thrives when she is around children.
She and Dave are godparents to six children and were on the Darlington State School P and C for a decade, and the neighbourhood kids have always loved her colourful place.
“We don’t have children, so I’d be out gardening, and they’d come over. I’d babysit and there’d be cooking, painting, photography, flower arranging. Kids are amazing,” she said.
Robyn is filled with anticipation as she gears up to celebrate her 60th birthday.
She was born on 23 October 1963 at Beaudesert Hospital as a fourth generation local, and her heart is well and truly in Beaudesert.
She and brother Errol grew up on the 4000-acre family grazing property, Rockbrook, Knapp Creek, with parents Lorraine and Des Jackson and grandparents Morris and Flo Jackson.
Her dad, who is 90 this year, still lives at Rockbrook, and when her mum passed away in November last year, Robyn took six weeks off to create new memories with him by visiting local tourist attractions.
“I choose every day to be happy. It’s the only way, even when things are hard and sad. The most important thing is to love yourself in order to be able to give to others,” she said.