Anne’s always been curious about people. Finding out about their lives and creating connections. “I love to meet people on the way and talk to them and smile. I’m always interested in things. I like to help them out if I can. It’s just the way I feel. It’s all different journeys. The thing is to listen and not to say too much. Just listen to everything. Take it all in and if they ask questions you can answer them. There’s so much beauty in everything.”
Anne and her five siblings grew up in Ireland. “From seven or so I used to look after my grandmother and her sister and help them. And I felt so happy, I loved it. I loved looking after them and doing everything for them.”
Anne’s youngest sister was just six months old when their mum passed away. Anne was 14. Their father decided to take the family to Australia, where Anne found work in delis and restaurants and as a nurse.
Although Anne is now a guest of Rise’s Milperra Respite Cottage she’d actually been involved with Rise from the beginning. It was 1983 when 92 people met at the Brown Park Community Centre in Swan View to discuss support services for the community. “I got there, at Brown Park where we started. All we had was a table, chair, phone and notebook. People would ring up and want assistance and then we would sort it out and it went from there. I can’t remember much of that but I met a lot of people. Everything’s gone vague now but I loved it. I probably did lots of stuff but I can’t remember. I thought the place was still Hills Community Support Group and then I joined Rise and the girl said this used to be the Hills Support Group. I’ve got a lady who comes and sees me at home once a week and I’m here (Milperra Cottage). The girls and everybody have been wonderful. I have a great time. It was just like it was meant to be.”
Anne enjoys combining images of moments and memories of families and friends into beautiful collages. “I’ve always been cutting them up smaller because I feel I can see them better; they’re close to me. With the small photos I can put them all in together and I can see so many. I always want to be close to it all. I love it all.”
Nestled in the Perth hills, Milperra Cottage provides professional and personalised care for guests who are ageing and/or living with dementia. Learn more here.