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Care Services Connectedness Health Stories

Relationships are an important part of our lives, and we talk to two people about their lives together.

Meet Bernadette Matthews and her Mum Doris Farrugia, who lives at IRT Links Seaside.

03 July 2020
Doris Farrugia and her daughter Bernadette Matthews.
“Mum did a lot of volunteer work – she’s a very kind, generous and caring person.”
Bernadette Matthews

BERNADETTE, 66

“I’m the spoilt only child and we’re a very close-knit family. I was born in Australia but Mum was born in Malta and Dad in Egypt. They met and married before Dad came to Australia and got a job, then Mum followed. I was born a year after they moved out. They lived in Sydney before Dad got a job at Port Kembla in metal manufacturing. They bought a house in Oak Flats, south of Wollongong, and that’s where I grew up. Mum did a lot of volunteer work – she’s a very kind, generous and caring person. I got married and my husband and I moved to New Zealand for a short time. We had two boys and Mum and Dad were really involved with their grandchildren and shared their ethics and respect for other people with them – my boys graduating from university was a huge thing for Mum and Dad. Unfortunately Mum had a fall the day before Dad’s funeral two years ago and fractured her vertebrae, and never got back home. It was a horrible time. But she moved into IRT Links Seaside and the staff are exceptional and the level of care is fantastic.”

Doris and Bernadette pictured at IRT Links Seaside.

DORIS, 90

“Bernadette is my only child and daughter. She was the apple of her father’s eye. She and her husband have been very good to us. Her husband is Scottish and when they got married they rented a cabin down the South Coast and the roof leaked. My eldest grandson was born in Auckland, so I flew over to meet him with my daughter’s mother-in-law. My husband John was a bit younger than me, he was a good man and he loved his grandchildren, and now there are four great-grandchildren. We went on holidays in the caravan to Nowra with the grandchildren and they were allowed to visit the caravan park shop by themselves, for the first time. I remember we took them swimming at night too – as you could do that there. It’s very good here at Links and everybody’s been really good to me.”

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