"Back in 1980 I was undergoing major surgery when I suffered a cardiac arrest and went zooming off from my body more fully aware than ever before of our world and our human condition.
When I was turned around with the very clear instructions that I still had 'my life's work to do' and that it wasn't my time to go 'home', I asked that I might be shown what my life purpose was. After some pretty amazing revelations in 1983, along with my husband Edwin, we sold our home and business in Sydney and founded the Elm Grove Sanctuary Trust at Goobarragandra near Tumut in NSW. There we worked to provide a centre to support and care for people and the natural environment in a beautiful setting.
Mud brick and timber buildings were built to accommodate guests along with a stone and mud brick chapel which offered a peaceful space and a welcome to people of all faiths or none. These were built with the generous help of many wonderful volunteers. In 1987 we formally founded our charitable Trust and gifted the land and buildings to our Trust so that our work could carry on beyond our own physical ability to provide care and support.
Over twenty years the Elm Grove Sanctuary Trust provided a valuable resource offering training programs for the long-term unemployed, Indigenous building programs, cancer patient support programs, workshops, counselling for people facing life threatening illnesses and relationship problems, and respite care for carers, as well as offering individuals and families opportunities for holidays. As a Social Worker I saw the wonderful transformation that loving care and the beauty of nature could offer to troubled lives. All of our work and support was offered on a donation basis. Our Trust continues today and is based on the far south coast of NSW.
While we are now unable to offer accommodation we do continue in our support for those who are needing assistance with life and its challenges. While we care for all people we have a strong passion to assist Aboriginal children to gain an equal footing in our world and so many of our programs have this focus. We currently fund an after school Study Centre at the Wallaga Lake Koori Village near to Bermagui and our latest commitment is to raise the funds for the Koori Kids Gardening Program at Narooma High School to be developed and so inspire change for these children."
For more on this awesome campaign to help Aboriginal kids who struggle to fit into school and life itself, check out the Elm Grove Sanctuary Trust's crowdfunding campaign page below:
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