South-west Queensland Father of the Year Adam Kitching with wife Susan and daughters Avalon, Tia and Susara.
South-west Queensland Father of the Year Adam Kitching with wife Susan and daughters Avalon, Tia and Susara. Contributed

Why brave Adam is a number one dad

A BRISBANE Valley dad has overcome the horrors of a gruesome war to be named the region’s Father of the Year.

Adam Kitching, 46, was presented with the award for south-west Queensland Father of the Year yesterday, and is now in the running for the state award, to be presented on September 1.

The father of three teenage daughters is still reluctant to discuss the things he saw while working as an army medic in Rwanda during the genocide of the mid 1990s.

Having just become a dad at the time, the Esk man was forced to work on soldiers and civilians with unimaginable injuries.

Many of the injured civilians were children.

“It was very hard. They tortured children over there. I saw kids who had been pushed into fires and a girl that had third degree burns from being tied up,” he said.

After returning from Rwanda in 1995, Mr Kitching also served in East Timor and Bougainville, where he helped deliver more than a dozen babies.

Despite clutching onto many positives, the recollections of violence were too vivid and Mr Kitching battled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Susan Kitching described clear changes in her husband’s personality and sleep patterns after he returned home.

“I knew there was something wrong but there was no label for what he was suffering at that time,” Mrs Kitching said.

It was eldest daughter Susara – so inspired by her dad’s story that she is now training to be a midwife – who nominated Mr Kitching for the award.

The 19-year-old said her father never let his personal struggle affect their upbringing.

“Dad is our family backbone. He understands each of his daughters. He is an amazing man who has overcome so many inner demons just so he can be the best daddy in the world.”

Mr Kitching said he was humbled by his daughter’s words.

“Just the fact she nominated me is enough. I think families are extremely important – particularly in this day and age,” he said.

The awards are hosted by The Scripture Union Queensland.


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