At AVI we know that we stand on the shoulders of giants. Earlier this month, we lost one of the greatest. Dr Ian ‘Macca’ Angus Stuart McDonald was a giant of giants.
After serving as a volunteer in Solomon Islands, Macca served AVI for almost 30 years, as State Manager for Victoria/Tasmania, Regional Manager for the Pacific, Project Manager for the Pacific Technical Assistance Mechanism (PACTAM) and most recently as a recruiter for Australian volunteers.
In many communities around the world, the village was or is centred around a revered rock formation or tree – a focal point for rituals and ceremonies. In England it was the oak tree and in Africa, the Boabab. It keeps the society anchored to its traditions and culture as a source of wisdom and continuity.
Macca was that tree for AVI. He was ever present for all of us. A constant source of support and sage, he lived each day with passion and purpose. It shone in his eyes.
Macca was AVI and AVI was Macca.
He only ever gave out goodness and saw only the good in us and volunteers. He reached out and took everyone under his wing, truly believing in people and their ability to build relationships and effect change. This is the essence of AVI.
As a team, we are grieving. Macca was family and the truth is, AVI will never be the same.
In his honour, we vow to uphold his values - humility, integrity, compassion, acceptance, tolerance and loyalty – all with a healthy dose of humour.
Macca made a genuine difference to so many lives and he will always be cherished. I can think of no better way to spend our short time on this earth.
In the words of our Solomon Islands team “Macca, you go rest nao Wantok! Mifala bae missim u tumas.”