June’s work with the Whittlesea council’s Seniors Link Up program helps isolated older people in the community to find local programs, groups, activities and events they might enjoy.

June de Chalain likes to stay busy, help others, and contribute to her community.

Her work with the Whittlesea council’s Seniors Link Up program helps isolated older people in the community to find local programs, groups, activities and events they might enjoy.

I am involved with the leadership team, finding out what the needs in the community are, and what we could do to meet them, she says. Transport is a very important issue for older people in the community.

She is the Publicity Officer with the Plenty Valley VIEW (Voice Interest and Education), a women’s volunteer organisation that provides support and funding for the education of disadvantaged Australian children. Currently we have three children that we are sponsoring through the Smith Family, she says.

June is the Vice President of the Northern Mauritian Seniors Club and also enjoys being a member of the U3A.

This empathy for others and drive to get involved stems from a defining moment in her childhood. Her father was a Colonel in the British Army in India at the time of partition in 1947 and was tasked by the British Government to safely take a large convoy of refugees from Simla to the capital Delhi.

On this occasion I saw some harrowing things at the age of ten. I remember seeing hundreds of people queuing up at one tap to get water in the heat and they had no food or shelter.

It gave me a real appreciation for the plight of displaced people, she says. This experience has formed June’s approach to life. My parents taught us to be community minded. You put other people first, you respect them and their opinions, and you just be there to help. The things that keep me going are the satisfaction of family, friendship, and helping others.