2004 Volunteers of the Year

Helen Rooke, Quota International of Gloucester, NSW

Helen Rooke cuddling little Kelsey, who at age five weeks was diagnosed as profoundly deaf and subsequently received a cochlear implant at age two. District clubs held fund-raisers to assist the family with travel costs to Sydney Children's Cochlear Implant Centre.

Helen Rooke

Quota International of Gloucester, NSW

In 1986, Helen Rooke, a registered nurse, moved to Gloucester to retire, but by 1989, she had responded to a call for palliative care nurses to work in the community. She held this position for the next 11 years. Upon retirement, after a total of 44 years in nursing, Helen joined various community groups, such as Legacy, Quota, and the Mid-North Coast Health Forum. She also became a volunteer caregiver at Camp Breakaway, caring for disabled people who were having a vacation break. She is heavily involved in driving people—sometimes long distances—for oncology and other medical specialist appointments. Helen cares for the elderly in their own homes while family members are at work. She was compelled to join Quota in the 1990s after being impressed with fund-raising efforts of local service clubs and other community organizations, which provided two palliative care rooms in a local health facility. Helen joined in the effort then and has been contributing to Quota service ever since. She was nominated as Australia Day Citizen of the Year and has received the New South Wales Premier’s Award for voluntary work with senior citizens in the community. Helen is passionately dedicated to the care of the sick and disabled children and adults of her local community. She has just been installed as the club’s first vice president, having served in this capacity previously. Helen Rooke shares her volunteerism and compassion with many and her club honors her contributions with this award.

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