Stephen Noel Vivian was born on November the 5th, 1955, second son of Carole and Ray Vivian and brother of Andrew. After nearly a year in the seaside Melbourne suburb of Mordialloc, Stephen and his family moved to a bush block at Devon Meadows, south east of Melbourne. His younger brother, Mark, was born soon after.
Life in Devon Meadows was good for three little boys (and not that easy for Carole, with no electricity and only tank water, at first).There was plenty of time to play; to run through the bush, climb trees, and find unusual animals and plants. Toys were made from sticks and huts were built from scrap materials and tree branches. Stephen developed an early appreciation of open spaces, and the simple things in life.
Stephen was an enthusiastic student at Devon Meadows Primary School, enjoying the social aspects and the occasional bit of mischief. He moved on to Koo Wee Rup High School, where he became a prefect, House Captain and a member of the firsts cricket and football teams. From there he spent a year a Frankston Teachers’ College, where his social skills became highly developed. Stephen claimed that he was asked not to return.
In 1975, Stephen began his long association with the government, in the Department of Housing. His temperament was perfect for a career in the Public Service. This was an era when the code of conduct required employees to do the bare minimum within standard hours and make the most of any opportunity for a long lunch or happy hour. Stephen, feeling duty bound to comply, embraced these principles with both arms, and later spread them as best he could through the departments of Defence, Social Security and Taxation.
However, he was restless, and headed off to England with Daryl Hunt, a friend from school and cricket. On their return, Stephen obtained a position with the Department of Defence, and spent much of that time sharing houses with Mark. He set about enjoying life in Melbourne to the full.
Sport was a big part of Stephen’s life, with the Tooradin Football Club and the Devon Meadows and Pakenham Cricket Clubs. His easy-going nature made him many friends, and, at one stage, it seemed as though he knew everyone in Eastern Victoria. He played in cricket premierships with Devon Meadows and Pakenham (captain-coaching in one) and was Cricketer of the Year in the West Gippsland Cricket Association. He also represented the Association on numerous occasions. Stephen was a handy footballer and a prodigious kick - one of his better efforts at home in Devon Meadows went through the side of the house.
In 1991 Stephen decided that Melbourne did not provide what he really wanted in life, so he headed north, ending up in Mackay. He had a winning way with the opposite gender, but, until then, had avoided lengthy relationships. He rang Mark to tell him he had met “the one”. The bachelor’s life was traded for one of commitment.
Words can not describe the passion Stephen had for Alison. Their relationship began as a solid friendship and developed into a profound love. Together they had many adventures and shared some fabulous times. They also supported each other through some very difficult occasions.
With Alison came a second family. Craig and Stephen went through adolescence together, with Steve always more than willing to share the hard earned wisdom, gained from his own youth, with his protégé. They both grew from the experience, developing tolerance and a great friendship. Craig has been heard to reflect that, despite his early misgivings, Stephen's observations might actually have been right on more than one occasion.....
As well, there were Ron, Pat, Janelle, Tony, Peter, Belinda and their children. Stephen loved travelling to Pinnacle and helping out on the farm and having a yarn and a beer, or relaxing at the family beach house at Airley. He slotted into life in rural Queensland seamlessly.
He became involved in sport in Mackay also, and, as coach of the North Mackay 2nd’s won the football premiership that had eluded him at Tooradin in his youth. He learned massage, and was a trainer for a rugby league team.
Despite self doubts, Stephen was dependable, particularly on a sporting field, He never flinched from working to help a mate. While it might be fair to say he was not so passionate about paid work (except the 'paid' part) - volunteering was a different matter.
He never lacked courage. As a child he slipped when crossing a creek, impaling himself on a stick. He walked half a kilometre home with his hand on the wound, and told Carole “Don’t look Mummy, it’ll make you sick!”. Emotionally, he could be pretty tough - he was passionate about the St. Kilda Football Club.
Stephen was someone who loved life, and having a good time. Things like running in “au naturelle” versions of the Stawell Gift, bungy jumping, doing a runner from a flash French restaurant, sending his father risqué birthday cards and having measuring contests on the bar of the Tooradin Sports Club brought out the larrikin in Stephen. Being a bit naughty or daring was fine if it was fun. He could best be described as a “life enhancer” - he made the people around him feel good. He was loyal, caring, and, above all, human. Most of his friends were friends for life.
Stephen leaves behind family and friends who love him dearly. He is greatly missed and will be fondly remembered by many.