In loving memory of Mishka Jules McIntosh who sadly passed away on 27th February 2020
Mishka, it has been a privilege to know you over the past nine years. I will always appreciate your patience , kindness and honesty. Enjoy your TARDIS destination. Much love. Jennifer B
Mishka, since we first met in 2002, I have valued your kindness, integrity, friendship and work on behalf of consumers in Victoria. Your contribution will always be remembered. Go well my friend.
Mishka, It was a joy to have known you. We first met in 2002 when you joined the PAT discussion group at the University of Melbourne, and you would come all the way from Geelong with Shirley Jennings. Your spirit was gentle and wise. You cared so much about people, especially the people in your community of Geel0ng who were doing it tough. What a magical way of looking at the world you had - it was infectious, as was your humour and your laugh. You will be missed.
Dear Mishka, I got to share an office with you for a whole year, the last year of your life. You were welcoming, kind, gentle, compassionate, insightful, caring, honest and dedicated to your work, to me as a colleague and to all the members of the CAG. We made a great team working together and I will always be grateful that I knew you, worked and walked alongside you. You gave me so much, more than I realised. Sending love to your beautiful mum Pamela.
Fay & Les Smith
Mishka, How blessed your family were to have you in there lives. A more gentle courtesy, kind and gentle person it would be hard to find. Your mum will miss her main companion. Love to Pam. Fay & Les
Farewell old friend.
Like everyone here today, this is the last place that I expected to be. I haven’t made sense of Mishka’s passing. Judge Judy says, ‘If it doesn’t make sense then it’s not true.’ I wish Judge Judy was correct this time. I’d like to acknowledge the knowledge and wisdom of people with a lived experience of mental distress, their families, supporters and the practitioners who work with them. I celebrate our strengths and resilience in facing the challenges associated with our recovery and value our role in the development and delivery of health and community services. Mishka worked for Mental Health Drugs and Alcohol Services at Barwon Health for close to 20 years. He was a trailblazer in many ways, establishing relationships with the staff and clients of the service, and made it easier for those lived experience staff who came after him. Mishka was well-loved and we’ll-respected by all the staff at MHDAS. He spoke his truth calmly and quietly, and staff valued his opinions. He didn’t speak unnecessarily but when he did, staff knew what he said would be on point and relevant. When I joined MHDAS as lived experience manager close to two years ago, the lived experience team was small and disillusioned by several changes in management and a perceived lack of support for their work. So the lived experience staff were somewhat sceptical of my appointment as I was from Melbourne and they’d experienced many broken promises in the past. However Mishka was welcoming and kind; he was intelligent and helpful; methodical with his work and a true professional. I came to value his calming presence within the team which consisted of many strong-willed, opinionated women, including Pamela, Jennifer, Marta and myself. Mishka had a happy personality despite the cards that life had dealt him. He had a great sense of humour and would often surprise us with his witty comments in meetings. One example is at a team meeting we were discussing the large amount of food at a farewell afternoon tea. Mishka said, ‘That’s part of the consumer role.’ I said, ‘What about the carer workers?’ Then Jennifer chimes in, ‘We bridged the gap!’ When I first came, I often mistakenly called Pamela and Mishka by the surname McIntyre because my brain gets fuzzy some days. Mishka would come to me and say, ‘Excuse me, Donna. You’ve written McIntyre in the minutes again.’ I would apologise and say, ‘I don’t know why I keep doing that.’ And then Mishka said, ‘I’m getting rather tyred of it’ and we both laughed. He liked playing with words. Mishka was a real asset to the team. I could rely upon him to do his work and also to step in to assist other staff with any issues they had, often relating to our poor IT skills. Right now I’m printing everything in colour because I don’t have Mishka to reset my computer to print in black and white. Every time I print I think of Mishka. Mishka’s work included developing and delivering the inpatient satisfaction survey, collating results, sitting on committees to provide the consumer perspective, developing a consumer newsletter which was going to be launched in January, and co-chairing the Consumer Advisory Group (several members of the CAG are here today). In more recent months Mishka was inspired by the direction that the lived experience workforce was heading, including the expansion of the team and the many new programs under development. It is sad that Mishka didn’t get to see all our plans come to fruition. I can’t mention Mishka without talking about his mother Pamela. I have never seen a mother-son bond as close as theirs. They often arrived at work together, ate lunch together, worked together, and then left work together. If Pamela was off work sick, Mishka would often develop a migraine and have to go home as well. They were inseparable. I’d like to express my sympathy to Pamela and the entire family for the unexpected passing of Mishka. He will be sadly missed and his passing will leave a hole in many lives.
Dear Pamela I am so sorry to hear the sad news today. Mishka was such a kind and gentle person I enjoyed working with him for almost 10 years, he had a wonderful sense of wit and humour he will be missed at Barwon health Mental Health service. I am so sorry to have not been able to say goodbye. Pamela you and Mishka were so close and I feel so sad for your loss I know you will miss him terribly. Pamela I wish you all the best for the difficult time you have ahead of you take care Sharon Saunders
Dear Pamela, my heartfelt sympathy on the tragic loss of Mishka. Gone way too soon. Jane (Chivers) Meier.
Thank you to all who have left messages or lit candles in honour of my beloved son Mishka.
In Loving Memory
Fay & Les Smith