Overview: The team at Health, Counselling and Disability Services lost a friend and colleague recently. Louise Hincks was an integral and much loved member of our team and we miss her deeply. This post captures our reactions and thoughts on the loss.
We lost a colleague and friend on the 21st January 2022. Our intake team worker Louise Hincks was killed fighting fires in the South East in her role as a CFS volunteer.
Louise dedicated much of her life to helping others. Whether it was working for us as a counsellor, her volunteering work with CFS (stretching back to her teens), or supporting her family and friends – she was a stable, supportive and safe place for many people over her lifetime.
Louise was a much valued and loved member of our team. She helped us grow and strengthen the intake service that provides a quick response to students in need. She herself responded to hundreds of students requesting assistance each year. She trained hundreds of students in Mental Health First Aid. She supported students in mental health crisis and those impacted by COVID. She provided equal opportunity advice and responded to critical incidents relating to students. She was able to do this because of the skills and knowledge she’d acquired over years of being that first-line point of support for people in their darkest times.
The outpouring of kind words in the general community following the announcement showed us that how we experienced Louise, was how others did as well. Selfless, generous, supportive, helpful, kind, hard-working, loving and professional.
We are extremely proud of the legacy she leaves – not only in terms of the people she helped, but the values by which she lived and worked, which we can and will carry forward as a team.
As a service and individually, we are in shock and are devastated. In time, we will be able to celebrate the work she did and the positive impact she had on us all. She will be missed deeply. We pay our respects to Louise’s husband Lindsay, her daughters Addie and Alice, her step daughters Emily, Bethany and Alyson and also to her parents, brothers and their extended family. We know this is an extremely challenging time for them and send our love and support.
The death of a member of the community can raise difficult thoughts and feelings for those left behind. We know that many students and staff here at Flinders had dealings with Louise and would be feeling the loss as we are. Knowing this, the following supports are available.
For staff specifically: The Employee Assistance Program provides short-term counselling (up to 3 sessions)
For students specifically: Contact the counselling service or After Hours Crisis Line to speak to someone
For all: Services like Lifeline, Grief Line offer highly available avenues through which to chat with a trained counsellor