Home' Aurora : Aurora August 2011 Contents 16
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WARNERS BAY RESIDENT, Mrs
Judi McLean, describes herself
as an ordinary, retired person with a
busy schedule, enjoying life. As well as
their commitment to their children and
grandchildren, Judi and her husband,
Dave, are members of the vocal group
"Roller Doors" and spend much of their
spare time entertaining seniors and
A childhood memory that brings a smile?
Singing in three-part harmony with my
brothers and sister while doing the dishes.
Has music remained an important part of
I think music is everybody's salvation if
you really give it a chance. You can be
feeling really down and have a good sing
and it can just lift your spirits.
Has there been a turning point in your life?
I've had a few sharp left hand turns over
the years. Life begins at 40, they say, but
it was not one of my better years. It was
the year Dave was diagnosed with cancer.
It was a struggle year but in some ways it
made me think about our vulnerability and
what's really important.
The other huge issue was in my 50th
year when my brother took his own life.
As a family we were left with the usual
questions and guilt. None of us has been
the same since that time. After some time
you accept that it was his journey.
I'd like to think that, through the
hardships, you become a better person,
Aside from those two issues I guess
we've had things that happen in families
all over the world that just become part
of your daily life, like mental illness and
homosexuality. They make you question
the norm and be more accepting of things
that are different.
Why do you speak openly about your life,
your turning points and suffering?
I am saddened sometimes by people's
lack of compassion. They're so prepared
to make a negative comment about people
who have no control over who they are or
how they are. If you take the time to get
to know people before you criticise them,
you often find that they are great people
with so much to give. I guess that's why
I'm a bit on the vocal side. If people make
a statement that I consider to be unjust,
I try to give another argument about why
that's not a good way to feel.
What does your faith mean to you?
My Christianity is very simple. There's
enough written about Jesus Christ for us
to know that he was a good man, with
good values. I think he was rebellious but
very inclusive, gentle and kind. His sense
of social justice is, for me, what sets
I don't think Jesus would be particularly
impressed with all the dogma that now
goes with religion. I see a lot of what the
regular churches do these days with good
intention but there's still that little sense
What worries you?
Recently the doctor told my husband and
I to give up politics, the media and our
other concerns as we get so worked up
People have got to start challenging and
questioning media and trying to make
changes in that regard. Stop buying
their papers. Don't listen to their news.
Until people start to be selective about
what they take from media, we won't
What gives you hope?
My newest grandson, Jimmy, and his
Mum's transformation: from some difficult
times, to becoming the beautiful person
she has always been, and now to see her
so positive and happy. I am proud of our
three children. They are good people.
People and events
Facing suicide, mental illness and cancer have been turning points in
Judi McLean s life but they have not diminished her capacity for hope.
Year 6 students
of St James Kotara
visited the Sydney
They are pictured
with their guide,
Olga, a sur vivor of
"Hot Box Dancers"
Kalia James, Bailee
Howard, Lucy Maher,
Kirsty Hassett and
"Crapshooters" (l-r) Ella
Hutchinson, Abby Freund and
Ellen O Donohue.
A large crowd
gathered to hear
Bishop Bill at July s
Theology on Tap.
The next TOT will
be on 15 August
at the Kent Hotel,
Staff of the
Office visited St
Joseph s Convent
Lochinvar as part
of a tour of places
education in the
are (l-r) Lisa Little,
and Ray Collins.
Some members of the
Planning Team for the
Federation of Parents &
Friends Associations 30th
Anniversary Conference at
Shoal Bay in July.
St Joseph s Primary Merewether held a bush
dance, had lots of fun and contributed to the St
Vincent de Paul Society s Winter Appeal.
Students of St Peter s Campus Maitland
staged a very professional performance of
the musical Guys and Dolls.
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