On 21 March, Helen Gordon OAM was treated to a special award presentation for her 2022 COTA Senior Achiever Victorian Senior of the Year Award at Parliament House with special guests - the Premier and the Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers the Hon Lizzie Blandthorn.
Unable to attend the official ceremony at Government House in October 2022 due to ill health, this special ceremony gave Helen and her family and some friends the chance to celebrate her years of volunteering and contribution to the Mornington community.
Helen has spent a lifetime teaching and showing people how to lead a healthy life. She established the physiotherapy department at Frankston Community Hospital and was the oldest practising physiotherapist in Australia upon her retirement.
Helen has been running exercise classes for over 20 years in Red Hill and her ability to interact with people, with her genuine interest in exchanging ideas, helped people feel more useful and confident as they age and go about their daily lives. She worked tirelessly, in a voluntary capacity, and donated money raised to World Vision and sponsored the School of St. Judes in Tanzania.
When COVID-19 struck, Helen performed hour-long routines from home with up to 90 attendees on Zoom. Helen has volunteered for numerous talks and initiatives, including running health promotion and exercise classes called Shake, Rattle & Roll at the U3A Mornington. Over the years at U3A Mornington alone, Helen has volunteered over 1,000 hours and there have been nearly 900 enrolments in her classes. In 2007, at the age of 72, Helen received the Older Australian Recognition Award and in 2019, she received the Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division, for her service to community health as a physiotherapist.
Congratulations once again Helen, and thank you for your years of service to your community, all done with such warmth and good humour.
Reviewed 04 April 2023