Illawarra Rural Fire Service's David Kirkwood - one special dad

David and Laura Kirkwood. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS
David and Laura Kirkwood. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

THERE are many ways a person defines their superhero, but ask most children who their true superman is and you're bound to hear the words 'My Dad'.

In the lead-up to Father's Day, the Lake Times sheds light on one such unsung hero.

Albion Park Rail father David Kirkwood is a full-time solo dad and has remarkably triumphed over all the challenges and hurdles parenthood have thrown at him.

Mr Kirwood's daughter Laura, now 15-years-old, was diagnosed with autism when she was just four-years-old and not long after, Laura's mother died.

"It was a difficult time and it was hard to overcome, but I knew I just had to be there for her and pull together all the services and support she needed," Mr Kirkwood said.

"At the time of her mother's passing, Laura couldn't verbalise how she felt, but she knew something had happened and that experience really created a bond between us.

"I could see that she was like 'you're still here Dad, so I'm going to hang on to you as long as I can'.

"I also had to navigate my way through the predicaments of a maturing teenage girl, which also had a whole new bunch of challenges."

Mr Kirkwood's "chin up" attitude played a large role in cultivating a happy, loving, caring family environment.

"As a father the real reward is watching your child grow up and watching Laura change and develop every year," he said.

"We are a very happy family. We do a lot of things together and spend a lot of quality time with our friends and family."

Aside from being a full-time father, Mr David has a busy weekly schedule; managing his Senior First Aid business, volunteering at the Illawarra Rural Fire Service, acting is the KidsFest Shellharbour vice president and working with the music ministry at Albion Park Church.

Send us photos of your dad for our online gallery celebrating dads - email visit to view photos already up.