Dawn was the second eldest of nine children and left school at 14. After marrying at 16, Dawn had her first child at 17. Dawn’s husband had numerous stints in prison for various crimes, and was an abusive and violent drinker. To get by, Dawn worked three jobs to support her children, while experiencing seven years of abuse.
Later in her working life, and as a sign of her courage and resilience, Dawn was appointed the first female County Court Bailiff in Australia, operated a small business and obtained a Business Degree, among other achievements.
More recently, Dawn has experienced violence at the hands of her son-in-law, triggering a breakdow and eventual hospitalisation. After not being able to return to her daughter’s house, Dawn had nowhere else to go. Shifting homes and being at risk of homelessness has been a feature of Dawn’s life, having had a total of 71 changes of address.
Today, Dawn has found accommodation with Wintringham Aged Care and is the president of the Zonta Club of Melton, an international group of women that strive for equality and equity for all women globally.
Dawn is enjoying her senior years as a mother of four, a grandmother of nine and a great grandmother of two mischievous little boys.
Knitting and beaded craftwork is a way to keep her busy. She started knitting the dolls as gifts for her grandchildren and others saw them and requested she make more.
As Dawn says, “for the very first time in my life I have freedom and means to decide my own future in my own way. I am happy and independent living here for the first time in my life and I thank God for that.”