I started as a volunteer with COTA SA in October 2014 and am looking forward to a long association with the organisation. Recently retired from my career as a lawyer, I happened to be in the right place at the right time when I was offered a volunteer position in the Advance Care Directives Program.
The area is very familiar to me as I spent many years in legal practice advising people about similar protocols. I am one of a team of three Information Officers. We present seminars in the community and offer one on one information sessions about Advance Care Directives to COTA SA members.
I have just completed a training course for the COTA SA program Planning Ahead: make your wishes known. The program brings together the three main areas of my former legal practice — wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney and Advance Care Directives. In presenting the program we also provide information about organ donation and Consumer Directed Care.
I feel almost like I'm back in practice talking about the issues I used to deal with daily — but without the stress!
I also volunteer at Calvary Hospital North Adelaide in the Biography Service as a member of a team of biographers who help patients in palliative care write their life stories. And I have volunteered in other ways over the years.
As I am bringing skills I have acquired over many years of working as a lawyer to both COTA SA and Calvary Hospital, I find my volunteer positions very satisfying.
I think my desire to be a volunteer comes from two strong role models I had. My mother was always volunteering for organisations like the Royal Flying Doctor Service, even when she was working as an executive secretary, and then later for Domiciliary Care when she retired. Her sister, my Aunty Aud, stopped her volunteer work in her local nursing home and church welfare centre only two years ago at age 85.
When I'm not volunteering, I write, go to painting classes, workout at gym, do yoga classes and walk or run depending on how I feel on the day. Family is very important to me and my husband. We enjoy helping to look after our two granddaughters and our two step grandchildren, going to their basketball games and various concerts and performances, and having regular family get-togethers.