The inspirational journey of Beverley Pinder

Wednesday, 29 May 2024 01:22 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Michelle Therese Alles

In a world where resilience and perseverance are often the keys to success, the story of Beverley Pinder stands out. Her autobiography, ‘Pride Without Prejudice’, offers readers an intimate glimpse into the life of a remarkable woman whose journey from Sri Lanka to Australia is marked by determination, success, love, and an unwavering commitment to giving back.

Beverley was born in Sri Lanka in 1955 to Dutch-Burgher parents. Her early years were shaped by the vibrant yet turbulent socio-political landscape of her homeland. A former student of St. Lawrence’s School, Wellawatte, her childhood was not devoid of domestic challenges, yet these experiences imbued her with resilience and a deep sense of empathy.

At the age of thirteen, Beverley’s family moved to Australia, seeking new opportunities. The transition was far from smooth. As a teenage immigrant, she sought acceptance through charity work and beauty contests, eventually representing Australia in the Miss Universe contest in 1978. This early exposure to public life laid the foundation for her future career. 

Beverley’s professional journey is a testament to her indomitable spirit. She broke through the glass ceiling in the PR industry, establishing her own successful firm. Her career saw her rubbing shoulders with celebrities and industry giants, including Sir Richard Branson, Ita Buttrose, Solomon Lew, David Bardas, Robert Doyle, and Derryn Hinch. Despite the glittering success, Beverley’s path was fraught with personal trials, including the highs and lows of three marriages. 

Yet, what stands out in Beverley’s narrative is her unwavering dedication to civic duty. She served two terms as a City of Melbourne councillor, where her work was underscored by a commitment to the less fortunate. This ethos was heavily influenced by the late Father Bob Maguire’s philosophy of ‘communitarianism’, which emphasises the importance of supporting the most vulnerable in society. 

Beverley’s life is a powerful example of the impact of philanthropy. Her autobiography, ‘Pride Without Prejudice’, not only shares her life’s story but also provides guidance for younger generations on achieving success in any field. It includes testimonials from women she has mentored, such as Sally Grero (formerly Machado), who speak passionately about Beverley’s influence. 

Profits from her book sales are donated to Turning Hope into Action Inc., a homelessness charity she helped establish, demonstrating her lifelong commitment to giving back. This act of generosity reflects her belief in communitarianism, where collective support within communities benefits everyone. 

The launch of ‘Pride Without Prejudice’ at the Barefoot Gallery in Colombo was a testament to Beverley’s enduring charm and the profound impact of her story. Despite the torrential rains, the event buzzed with excitement, reflecting the inspiration drawn from Beverley’s life. 

In her own words, Beverley encourages others: “Life is a good dose of what you are looking for. Never stop short of trying to attain that which you know is achievable. And then keep going – exploring your next steps and getting into the road that allows you to realise your fullest potential.” 

Beverley Pinder’s story is more than just a personal memoir; it is a beacon of hope and inspiration. Her journey from the streets of Wellawatte to the corridors of power in Melbourne underscores the essence of resilience, the pursuit of success, and the importance of always giving back. In ‘Pride Without Prejudice’, Beverley invites readers into her world, sharing the lessons life has taught her and lighting the way for others to follow.

Her life and work embody the spirit of communitarianism, a philosophy that is as relevant today as it was in the mid-nineteenth century. As we traverse the complexities of modern society, Beverley’s story reminds us of the power of community, empathy, and the enduring impact of one woman’s unwavering resolve to make a difference.