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Maureen Inkster - Office Staffer.  Joined 2013.

I was born in Lerwick,
Shetland - the photo shows
my primary school class with
me at lower
right wearing a
fair isle jumper.  

I left the islands at the age of sixteen to pursue my education in Aberdeen.  After study at Aberdeen Commercial College I was successful in procuring the position of Secretary to the Head of the Chemistry Department at Robert Gordon’s University in Aberdeen.   This is where I met the Englishman whom I would later marry.   Phil had travelled to Scotland from Prescot in Lancashire to study in Scotland.  

We married in March 1967 and went to live in Lancashire where both our children were born in Billinge, near Wigan.   We arrived in Australia in 1981 with a thirteen-year-old daughter and a ten-year-old son.   We had agreed to work in Melbourne setting up a subsidiary company for a Bradford based chemical company called Allied Colloids.   In my mind I was going on an adventure for two years and at the end of that time we would go back to the UK.

For the first two years I ran the office from our home in North Croydon whilst working part time in administration at Yarra-Me Quadriplegic Centre.   My career then took me to Medical Administration at Maroondah Hospital.

After years of supporting my husband and after having attended the graduation of both my son and my daughter I decided to take myself back to university.   In 1991 I commenced working at the Salvation Army owned Bethesda Hospital in Richmond.   I would do a full day’s work and then travel to Swinburne (Hawthorn campus) two nights a week.   I finally graduated with a BA in Human Resource Management and Sociology on 21st August 2000.   Until my retirement in May 2013 I was still working at Epworth Hospital (Bethesda Hospital had been taken over).  

Retirement brought with it many challenges for me.   Work had defined me and now I had to find new avenues knowing full well that the only constant in anyone’s life is change.   I remembered an art teacher at Lerwick, Shetland telling me that I had an artistic talent that I should explore.   Pursuit of a suitable art group took me to U3A where fortunately I have been lucky enough to join a great botanical art group led by Rhonda Favaloro.   I also volunteer in the office at U3A and have made new friends and met interesting, like minded people who want to keep their brains and bodies active.

I have moved from suburbia to a city pad and I love to walk everywhere.   I like to be close to the theatre, the parks, the markets and the wonderful botanical gardens.   I also do voluntary work with the Salvation Army on Clarendon Street and life has taken on a new direction and one that I am very happy to embrace.   I love the outdoor life and travelling having recently been to China, Cambodia and Thailand.  

I look forward to further adventures and contacts through U3A Melbourne.

Maureen Inkster, November 2013