Richard Cosmos’s life was in a state of disarray, a feeling of being adrift before he stumbled upon the Milparanga Established Leadership Program. Hailing from Karratha in the North West Pilbara, the Ngarluma man found himself at a crossroads, unable to shake the sense that all was not well in his world.
Despite his apprehensions, Richard took a significant step by enrolling in the program. This decision proved pivotal, heralding a transformative period not just for him, but for his family as well.
“I was in a phase in my life where I felt like something was missing,” Richard shares.
“I couldn’t put my finger on it. I was taking a large portion of work home, and reflecting back now I realise there had been a dynamic shift in myself and I just couldn’t work it out.”
Living life on auto-pilot
At 17, Richard began his career as a mechanical fitter, quickly ascending into leadership roles, eventually becoming a director within the Aboriginal corporation space. Despite this upward trajectory, he felt as though he had hit a plateau. The more he sought clarity through career mentorship, the more he became aware of a profound disconnection from his true self.
“I was living my life on auto-pilot and everything was holding priority opposed to what was really important, and that was myself and my young family,” he says, reflecting on his state before the program.
A crossroad and a decision
Facing a crucial juncture, Richard chose to engage with the Milparanga program, a choice he nearly renounced until the final moments before committing. Looking back, he recognises his reluctance to face deeper issues.
“But Milparanga gave me the space and the time to step away from the everyday grind and reevaluate things from a different perspective,” he acknowledges.
This process allowed Richard to hold a mirror to his life, to rediscover his authentic self and to rekindle his sense of identity.
Embracing vulnerability for change
Richard’s experience with Milparanga was a lesson in vulnerability. It was challenging to lower his defences, but the outcome was profound.
“The reward I got from that was amazing. I found myself being able to relate and have meaningful conversations as opposed to professionally driven conversations,” he recounts.
The program offered a sanctuary, leading to revelations and connections that reshaped his life. As Richard opened up, he not only forged deep friendships but also embraced a gentler approach to leadership and family life.
“I’ve been able to rediscover myself again and represent something that I thought was gone,” he says, acknowledging the newfound harmony in placing his own happiness at the forefront.
“I really thought that person was gone forever, along with my happiness. I’ve sacrificed so much and put myself second, third, fourth, fifth, on the happiness spectrum within my immediate and extended family. To put myself first again is rewarding and coming out the other side, being a different version of the strong father that I represent for my children is empowering.”
A new chapter and vision for the future
The epiphanies and growth from the program inspired Richard to press pause on his career and seek a fresh start. He plans to relocate with his partner and daughters to Australia’s east coast for a new beginning while maintaining ties with his sons from a previous relationship. This move represents a desire to foster the personal and professional insights gained through Milparanga, with aspirations to delve into Indigenous leadership, entrepreneurship, and further education.
“It will be a huge life change, but I want to keep and maintain what I’ve found out about myself and what I represent,” Richard declares, poised on the brink of a future filled with promise and the pursuit of a Bachelor of Behavioural Science.
With this fresh perspective, Richard is determined to explore uncharted paths with passion and a renewed sense of purpose.