What family is all about

Resident Annie shares her life journey with us, from moving to Australia at a young age pursuing her dream of becoming a nurse, to raising a loving family.

Strong family connections are important in our lives, and as we grow older, having a close-knit family becomes even more special.

For Woodford Manor resident, Annie Wolf, staying in close touch with her children makes her feel supported. ‘We are very close, and we are there for each other in time of need,’ she says. Annie also looks back warmly on the support she received from her parents when she moved to Australia at a young age.

‘I was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and I had such a large family; there were 13 children,’ she says. ‘We were very poor and never really went on holidays, but as children we played well together at home.’ Annie shares that, even with many siblings, her parents treated everyone the same. ‘Being such a big family, they managed to share all their love and support between us all,’ she says.

When Annie was 17, she moved from her home in Scotland to Australia to chase her dream of becoming a nurse. ‘All I wanted to do was become a nurse, and I got offered a scholarship in Rockhampton,’ she says. ‘My parents were so happy that I was coming to Australia to better myself, they were so supportive.’

For Annie, nursing wasn’t the only love she pursued. ‘I met my husband Tom in Edinburgh; he came to Australia the year before me and became a qualified Butcher. I followed him the year after and moved to Rockhampton, and I started my nursing degree,’ Annie says. They were married two years later and started a family of their own. ‘We married when I was 19, we had six children: four girls and two boys. I now have so many grandchildren and great-grandchildren to list, but I love them all,’ she adds.

Annie’s heart remains connected to her family, dispersed across Alice Springs and the Moreton Bay region. ‘Most of my children live in Alice Springs, one close to Woodford, and one son at Sandstone Point,’ she mentions. ‘Our family is very close and I miss them a lot, but luckily I have two children that live close,’ she says. ‘The children in Alice Springs fly me up to see them. I probably go back 3 times a year.’

In this chapter of her life, Annie says she also considers Woodford Manor her home, a place where she has found a second family. ‘When I am not visiting my family, I am here with my new family and friends,’ she says. ‘I could not be any happier than I am right now, I have the best of both worlds.’

For Annie, family means safety, support, and being part of a community. ‘At the start I did feel slightly concerned about coming into an aged care facility as I had worked in so many in my career, but here I feel so at home,’ she says. ‘I have made so many new friends, the staff are wonderful, there is great food, and the facility has such a homely feeling. I feel safe.’

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