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Julie's half a century of involvement

Resthaven clinical nurse, Julie Tansing, recently celebrated her involvement of about 50 years as a volunteer with Red Cross, which is celebrating its centenary in Australia this year, meaning she has been involved for half of its existence.
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Resthaven clinical nurse, Julie Tansing, has celebrated her involvement of about 50 years as a volunteer with Red Cross.

Ms Tansing first became associated with Red Cross when she was 13 years old and joined the Junior Red Cross group at high school.

"The activities that our group undertook were mainly involved with young disabled people at the Strathmont Centre. This included visits at weekends to help feed and entertain the children and making toys for them. The most notable one I remember was a doll’s house," Ms Tansing recalls.

"Throughout my high school years, I continued my involvement and attended National Conferences as the school’s representative. After leaving school, I had a break for a few years as I undertook my training to become a registered nurse whilst working full time in a hospital," she adds.

In the early 1980s, Ms Tansing again became involved with Red Cross as a volunteer and then as an employee. This association continued for about 20 years. During this time, she acted as a volunteer first aider at many community events and on the phones during several disaster situations.

"As an employee, I taught First Aid and advanced life support to various community groups and businesses, including many school pupils and teachers. I coordinated the First Aid training department and trained the educators of First Aid. A highlight was managing a project coordinating volunteers to insert smoke alarms into homes of older and disadvantaged community members."

Ms Tansing was also associated with the tracing department of Red Cross. This department’s role was to assist people to trace family members who had lost touch due to war or other conflicts.

A memorable event was helping an Albanian refugee to find his relative, as they had not had contact for 40 years. SA Red Cross contacted the Albanian Red Cross and worked together to find his relative. A letter was sent via SA Red Cross to this man to reconnect.

Her passion for the Red Cross has led her to collect a significant stamp collection featuring the Red Cross, about which she gives presentations to Resthaven residents and clients. Seeing the old stamps and memorabilia brings back many memories and sparks interesting conversations, she says.

Established in 1935, Resthaven is a not for profit aged care community service of the Uniting Church, respected for the delivery of high quality, responsive care services for older South Australians and their carers.   

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