Ruby’s Story


You may have seen long-term Burnie Brae member Ruby around the Centre, but you may not know that much of Ruby’s life has been spent helping others.

Following thirteen years working in pharmacies, Ruby moved into nursing, with three years working in Ingham. During that time, she had to learn her nursing skills on the job and helped deliver many babies. She married and moved to Brisbane where she began teaching pharmacy classes. Her next major career move was teaching as a professional cosmetician, which gave her the opportunity to travel all over Australia.

One of the many things that makes Ruby special is her wonderful history of volunteering, spanning over 40 years! She has volunteered for many organisations over this time, including Homeless Connect with the Salvos, Blue Care (30 years), Relaxation Centre of Queensland
(40 years), and the Community Visitors Scheme working with the elderly. During her 40 years volunteering at the Relaxation Centre, Ruby was a lecturer, part of the newsletter mailing team, and the Centre contact for children assisted through their foster plan program.

Ruby has also taken on some sports and events related volunteering roles, including:

  • World Expo 88 – 6 months with South Pacific and other groups
  • 2001 Good-Will Games – assisting at the International Airport, interviewing and general help
  • XII Commonwealth Games 1982 Brisbane – organising passports and assistance
  • National Fitness Leader for Sunshine Coast from 1972.

In 2004, Ruby become a Burnie Brae member after a friend invited her to a dance class. She has enjoyed many of Burnie Brae’s services, activities, and events over the years. These include eleven years of Zumba classes, as well as Functional Fitness, Tai-Chi, Aqua Aerobics, and exercising at Healthy Connections. She also enjoys yoga, meditation and mindfulness. She said: “Functional Fitness has helped with my balance and posture”.

During her years at Burnie Brae, Ruby has spent time helping set up activities each morning and assisting in preparations for special occasions. Ruby was even a regular fashion model at the Burnie Brae Cent Auctions, as well as the ‘meet and greet’ person for new exercise classes.

Ruby celebrated her 90th birthday in July this year, when she was surprised with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and tickets to QPAC’s West Side Story. Her friends from Zumba also planned a party for her! This is just one example of the special friendships that Ruby has formed at Burnie Brae, and her friends often catch up with her outside of the Centre. When speaking about her involvement at Burnie Brae Ruby said: “When I can’t make it to the Burnie Brae Centre, I miss the social connections and friendships”.

Thank you for sharing your story with us Ruby!