Caring at the heart of Vi’s work

Published 12:00pm 7 October 2021

Caring at the heart of Vi’s work
Words by Jodie Powell

Redcliffe’s Vi Wilson has been recognised for more than four decades of service to the community through her work with Zonta.

Ms Wilson, 93, was among the foundation members of the Zonta Club of Redcliffe and says she’s proud to be part of an organisation that worked to empower women.

One of the recipients at the recent Petrie Volunteer Awards, she has led the club’s Breast Cushion Project for the past 15 years.

Last year when COVID-19 restrictions halted club sewing, stuffing and packing efforts, Ms Wilson made 200 of the cushions herself.

They are used by women recovering from breast cancer surgery and donated to Redcliffe Hospital and St Vincent’s Northside

Caring at the heart of Vi’s work

Providing comfort

“The cushions help them sit, sleep and rest comfortably and stop them being bumped while they’re moving around,” she says.

“We have another 100 ready to go now already sewn but we have not stuffed them, so we’re going to have a stuffing night.

“It brings everyone together in a friendly atmosphere and we have a lovely supper.

“We even make some for men because they get breast cancer too.”

As well as Breast Care Cushions, the Zonta Club of Redcliffe makes turbans and drainage bags for cancer patients, and compiles birthing kits to send to Africa and Nigeria to improve hygiene for women giving birth in primitive conditions

Ms Wilson, who was the assistant Matron at Redcliffe Hospital when it opened in 1965, later became the Director of Nursing and says she was delighted to be invited to join Zonta when the Brisbane club offered to sponsor a Redcliffe chapter in 1980.

“I knew that it was a global organisation and it really was empowering women through service and advocacy,” she says.

“We’re a very tight-knit club, very happy.

“There’s more advocacy now – we’re using our voices much more than we were – but fundamentally the message has stayed the same.

“It’s about health, education, gender equality and domestic violence awareness.”

Find out more about Zonta Redcliffe here.

Read more local news here.

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