The Feros Heroes program recognises those seniors who show dignity and respect for others while promoting healthy ageing. They are generally those who encourage independence in ageing and involve family and friends in their lives, displaying active citizenship and community involvement.
Here are a selection of Feros Heroes stories – insights into seniors aged 80 plus – who continue to lead lives of example, inspiring us to be better people.
Our Feros Heroes
Shirley Nelson is a formidable figure in her home community of Byron Bay on the NSW far north coast. Arriving in 1970, the English-trained nursing Sister was appointed as Matron of Byron Hospital and immediately began transforming the hospital and health care across the region.
“I’m a professional psychologist and for about eight years I’ve been running what I called ‘the Friday Group’. It’s a discussion group of people from their mid-sixties to their eighties, who join me to tackle topics that are important to them. One week we might talk about ‘responsibility’ and
another ‘grief’, or ‘love’ or ‘family’.”
At 85 Greg Tegart remains the personification of focused curiosity. There’s no other word for it. He simply loves to understand how things work, how they were made, who benefits from them and whether there could be changes that might improve any part of the process.
The way Margaret Fisher moves across a tennis court you can tell she’s no novice. There’s a spring in her step and quickness to her pace. She sums it up in moment. “I’m fitter now than I was in my fifties!” Her smile becomes a laugh as she adds, “You can be. You just have to keeping doing!”
Keith’s own words, “As people grow older, there’s a huge amount of knowledge and ability that you shouldn’t waste.” More often than not Keith’s are the first footprints on Pottsville’s Blackrock Beach. He’s out early walking, greeting the rising sun and the breaking waves as he strides the along the sand.
Beverley Yeomans can’t resist a challenge, especially a physical one. Learning the tango, flying a glider, teaching refugees, becoming at kayak racing champion, it’s all to do. To Beverley it’s obvious: “The more active I am, the more energy I have, the more things I want to do”.