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Helping the disadvantaged

Honoured: Catholic woman Aileen Heathwood with her letter from the Governor General.

Honoured: Catholic woman Aileen Heathwood with her letter from the Governor General.

By Emilie Ng

REGINA Caeli Church, Coorparoo parishioner Aileen Heathwood made the Australia Day 2015 Honours List for her 17 years working as a volunteer at her local court.

The 86-year-old was bursting to tell her four children she had been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in the general division for her work as a volunteer at Holland Park Magistrates Court.

Mrs Heathwood has spent the past 17 years volunteering at the court after seeing an advertisement in the local newspaper.

“I’ve been at the court since September 1997, and still there,” Mrs Heathwood said.

“I found it a very satisfying role because it gives a lot of help to a lot of people.”

Mrs Heathwood moved to her Coorparoo home 60 years ago, and along with her late husband has been part of the Catholic community at Regina Caeli Church.

“We moved to the parish in 1951,” she said.

“There was a church built here and the first Mass was celebrated in 1953.

“That church was destroyed by fire in 1961 and my husband built the (replacement) church and it was opened, the solemn blessing and opening, was August 1962.

“My daughters were married there, a lot of grandchildren baptised there, and my husband was buried there.”

Mrs Heathwood said her Catholic faith helped her maintain a good “social conscience” which helped her work in the justice system.

“My faith is a very large part of my life,” she said.

“So of course that influences the things I do.

“I am keen to help the disadvantaged.”

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