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June has been a volunteer at Ozcare Villa Vincent since 1961, when the original operators of the aged care facility, Sisters of Mercy, called for the formation of two committees to help raise funds for the construction of a home for the aged. Villa Vincent came into being in 1964 because of the endeavours of those two committees.
As a member of the women’s committee, June was involved in organising raffles, bridge mornings, functions, as well as seeking donations and applying for grants. Rugs were crocheted, plants were potted, cakes were baked, and musical concerts were held – all in an endeavour to fundraise.
June was secretary from 1986 to 2002 at Villa and continued fundraising to purchase a bus for the facility as well as a myriad of other items to make life more comfortable for the residents. As there were no people employed to arrange entertainment for residents, any activities were provided by volunteers. In 2002, Villa Vincent was purchased by Ozcare and even after the diversional therapy team was established to provide a calendar of activities and events, June has continued her volunteering.
Today, June visits Villa Vincent four or five times a week to offer her services. She escorts residents on outings to shopping centres, assists them to the chapel for morning Mass, and helps with other activities.
Always humble, June insists that she is only one of innumerable people, both young and old, who volunteer and she enjoys the rewards it brings. After 56 years of service, June remains a familiar, much loved and valued volunteer at the facility.
At the 2017 Volunteer Queensland Awards, June was awarded the Lifetime Contribution to Volunteering Award. Despite her sense of simply being “one of the volunteers”, June is a particularly special woman who has given to others all her life. Her passion, dedication and contributions to volunteering across the decades are truly inspiring.