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Brad Wearne’s commitment to volunteering at Ozcare Villa Vincent Aged Care Facility includes the significant difference he has made to the lives of many North Queenslanders suffering from dementia. Brad has had a positive impact on the way the dementia unit goes about its daily business of caring for residents. In the world of volunteering, Brad Wearne’s contribution is nothing less than inspirational. He is an inspiration not only to the management teams and staff, but to any Australian who suffers personal adversity. Brad has demonstrated that he has great heart, great courage and great tenacity.
Before Brad’s arrival, ‘Jane’ rarely stepped outside. Even though she loved gardening, she was unable to bend down. Brad built her a waist high workbench and provided her with empty pots, soil and bulbs. ‘Jane’ now ventures outside into the fresh air and sits at her gardening bench to work. She monitors the progress of her pot plants daily and derives considerable enjoyment from doing so.
Brad had been working as a restaurant supervisor until one morning he was involved in an accident, suffering immense damage to his foot. Seventeen surgeries over four years impacted every facet of his life and the possibility of amputation lead Brad to a dark place. Determined not to slide any further, Brad strapped on his moon-boot and hobbled into Volunteering North Queensland where he was referred to Ozcare Villa Vincent and accepted as a volunteer visiting elderly residents with the aim of brightening their days with a social visit. In reflection Brad says, “It’s the people here and being around them” that makes a difference, “They’ve encouraged me to grow mentally. They’ve really grounded me, I love being here.”