Aged lost without Dawn to help out



Dawn Livingston welcomes me into her home, she asks if I am sure about profiling herself as a Community Hero.

The Rockhampton grandmother believes her work at the Schotia Place seniors activity centre, spanning 30 years, was nothing out of the ordinary.

"I did it because I wanted to, and I enjoyed what I did,'' she explained from her Allenstown home.

"I really did like it.''

The engaging woman's voluntary work at the facility started 30 years ago, when husband Jack took up the appointment of manager at the premise's official opening.

During that time she was a member of the executive for the Rockhampton Senior Citizens Club, and founded the Senior Citizens Club Frail Aged Day Care program held each Thursday. When Mrs Livingston's husband, who received an Order of Australia on Australia Day last week, entered the room she shot him a withering look. "I almost divorced him, I don't really like being in the public eye!,'' she joked about Jack's recommendation to The Morning Bulletin that his beloved wife be recognised for her work.

Mr Livingston just shrugged it off and heaped more praise on his wife.

"She's the source of compassion down there,'' he said as he glanced at Mrs Livingston.

"It was good to have someone there like that they could go to.

"Once you get their confidence, they know they have someone they can talk to.''

Part of the reason Mrs Livingston had built such a great rapport with the elderly was her Frail Aged Day Care program.

Held each Thursday, the program allowed her to interact with the elderly from various establishments in Rockhampton, while a weekly stall was held providing an endless variety of sought-after items for sale at minimal cost.

"It's a great avenue for them to get something they can wear, something they can choose themselves,'' the recipient of a Premier's Award for Community Service in 2002 explained.

"We have all kinds of activities to keep the elderly people occupied and getting them out of their homes. "Our bus picks up people who live on their own at home.

She would dedicate a large amount of her time to fundraising to ensure the bus could continue to transport to the elderly from their homes.

However, after 30 years associated with the welfare of the aged at Schotia Place, Mrs Livingston has retired to participate in programs such as the RSL Ladies Auxilary.

The Rockhampton woman, who spent time in the Air Force during the 1940s, said she would still take the time to visit some of those she has made friends with during her time as an aged care volunteer.



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