ROS Worthington is largely known for her philanthropy.
But she is also a daughter, sister, widow, mother, aunty and grandmother.
In her new book, The Power of Giving, Worthington shares stories from her life and there is one recurring theme; paying it forward.
Launched at Cancer Support WA this month, the book includes a forward by former Australian cricketer Justin Langer and talks about Worthington’s early years in foster care and the moment those four words – the power of giving – first impacted her life.
The 65-year-old, who celebrated her birthday a day after the book launch, said the moment her friend and employer handed over her first pay cheque she realised they were paying it forward and she needed to continue that.
Since then, Worthington has brought the Make-a-Wish Foundation to Perth, established Breast Cancer Care WA, worked with Lifeline WA and founded the Love Angels Foundation teaching young people to pay it forward.
“When I leave this world I will leave knowing that my children and the children I have mentored will make it a better place,” she said.
Worthington’s granddaughter Jasmin Brennan is one of those people.
Jasmin was born the day Worthington’s husband Ross “Roscoe” Worthington was buried.
He committed suicide.
“She was born the moment I was in the chapel saying goodbye to my Roscoe and I remember it was very profound… intense joy and intense sorrow,” Worthington said.
“It was a little bit easier to say goodbye because I had Jasmin to go to.”
Worthington said while people were talking more about depression and suicide, the statistics had not improved.
“But we are making a difference and people are reaching out more,” she said.
Last Friday, she spoke at the St Andrew’s Grammar School graduation in Dianella where each graduating student received a cope of her book.
The Power of Giving is available online www.rosworthington.com.au and at The Bodhi Tree bookshop cafe in Mt Hawthorn.
If you or anyone you know needs support, call Lifeline 13 11 14.