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Virtual Social Centre volunteer of the month

The Virtual Social Centre (VSC) is a vibrant and interactive online community for learning and connecting. This innovative program allows seniors to connect and learn virtually with like-minded people through a range of sessions, such as book clubs, exercise classes, games and entertainment, and activities that stimulate the mind.

This month, we had the pleasure of sitting down and having a chat to Lauren Waters, who is a volunteer for the Virtual Social Centre. She is wonderful with calls and loves to have a chat. We asked her a few questions:

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Canberra, but my family moved up to Brisbane when I was seven. I’m eternally grateful to my parents for making the move as I don’t cope well with cold weather. I moved down to Kingscliff in 2017 and now I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else!

Tell us about your family!

My beautiful parents have been married for 48 years and they love keeping active together. They have just returned from a cycling trip in central NSW and have more adventures planned for later this year. Both volunteer in the community – Mum with the Cudgen SLSC and Dad with Point Danger Marine Rescue. My younger sister lives in Coolum with her husband and their “fur baby” Campag (a gorgeous French Bulldog).

Can you provide a summary of key events of your life?

I seem to be a perpetual university student, so most of the key events in my life relate to my studies. I completed my physiotherapy degree in 2005, a Masters in public health in 2007, a PhD in 2011… and now I’m back at university studying occupational therapy. In case you can’t tell, I love learning. The other key event in my life is moving to Kingscliff. Now that I live by the sea, I can’t imagine moving back to a city.

What are some achievements or accomplishments of which you are most proud of?

I’m definitely proud of my PhD – it was hard work, but it was also fun. A very steep learning curve. I also walked the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail in 2009. It was my first overseas holiday, and the 800km walk took me a month. I learned a lot about myself and my capacities.

Do you have any exciting travel stories?

Apart from my Spain adventures, I went to Lord Howe Island with the CSIRO and Australian Geographic in 2016. We spent a week catching and classifying flies. Yes, really. Relaxing holidays aren’t really my thing, but I’m happy to hike or do science!

What are your hobbies?

Swimming. I grew up swimming in pools, but now that I live here, I swim in Cudgen creek or the sea at Coolangatta.

Anything else you would like to add?

I love volunteering with the Virtual Social Centre. It’s added such richness to my life and opened my eyes to what can be achieved with technology and a passionate group of people.

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