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Honouring Shirley

Shirley and her husband moved to Wollongong in 1973 and she joined VIEW in Corrimal. She was also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, firstly in Goulburn then in Wollongong. She was on the Board when the Wollongong branch decided to close and sell their property where meetings had been held. The proceeds from this sale were given to the University of Wollongong to provide a scholarship for 30 years for the training of nurses.

Not long after moving to Wollongong, Shirley started to work for a well-known jeweller and eventually managed three stores for him.

Shirley became involved in Probus and was very active in getting women’s clubs formed as part of Probus. She had many trips to Sydney to fight for the right for women to manage their own clubs. Shirley was a foundation member of Wollongong Women’s Probus Club which was the first women’s club formed in NSW. This club was run under the auspices of Rotary and had to have quarterly meetings to show their books. To expand membership they approached many women – teachers, nurses, businesswomen- who were about to retire. They grew to about 150 members but over many years the membership dwindled, and they did not have the income to cover the hall hire and cleaning cost so the club folded. About five of those members still meet regularly. Shirley was involved in opening various Probus clubs in the Illawarra through her connection with Rotary.

While a member of Wollongong Women’s Probus Club, Shirley also joined Wollongong City Ladies Probus Club and is still a very active member, attending up to four functions a month. Wollongong City Ladies Probus Club appreciated Shirley’s vast knowledge and support when updating their Constitution and ByLaws.

In August 2023 Shirley was accepted as a recipient of the 2023 Jean Arnot Memorial Recognition Award. The award celebrates women 90 years and over who have worked for women in their communities. Shirley, with her family and friends, attended a luncheon at Parliament House in Sydney and was presented with a Certificate of Recognition, a copy of the Profile Booklet and a special gift by the Governor of New South Wales, Her Excellency The Honourable Margaret Beazley AC, KC.