Aunty Jude saluted in Who's Who
WHILE most people only see the pessimistic side of the homeless living on the banks of the Fitzroy River, Rockhampton’s Judith Tatow sees more.
The indigenous elder helps these “regular people sleeping rough” get into accommodation, have access to food through vouchers and to simply have someone to talk to.
She’s one of the city’s unsung heroes and now the 67-year-old has become one of Australia’s noted inspirational women.
The 67-year-old has been named in the latest edition of Who’s Who of Australian Women with the likes of Australian Olympic champion Cathy Freeman.
Judith, known as Aunty Jude, started working for Anglicare, a welfare charity providing emergency services to the homeless and needy families in Rockhampton 21 years ago.
It wasn’t an easy road for the Woorabinda-born woman, who was diagnosed with breast cancer later in life.
“It wasn’t easy, but I got through it. I was lucky because my grandmother had breast cancer and lived until she was 100,” Aunty Jude said.
She followed in the footsteps of her mother and grandmother who were both born to help people, and is the co-ordinator of Anglicare’s Winnaburra Aboriginal and Islander program for CQ.
“One of the things that keep you going is finding people we work with on the riverbank a home,” she said.
Sometimes all they needed was a cuddle or a laugh.
“The other day someone we’ve worked with came into the office and gave us a Christmas card to say thanks,” she said.
Aunty Jude does a lot of volunteer work.
In 2006 she was National NAIDOC Female Elder of the Year.