Dedication rewarded

Save the Children CEO Paul Ronalds presents Johanna Bowen with her life membership.
Save the Children CEO Paul Ronalds presents Johanna Bowen with her life membership.

The Perth Hills resident has spent her life dedicated to helping children and bringing up seven of her own.

Mrs Bowen’s award recognises her achievement and the Save the Children group’s appreciation of her continuous efforts and support over the decades.

‘Trained as a kindergarten teacher, Johanna Bowen always had the interests and welfare of children at heart,’ Save the Children chief executive officer Paul Ronalds said at a presentation ceremony to mark her significant achievements.

Mrs Bowen was drawn to the Save the Children fund after hearing an ABC broadcast on the vision of Eglantyne Jebb.

In the early 1970s Mrs Bowen set about forming what would become the Hills Branch of Save the Children.

Meetings were held monthly and were well attended.

To raise funds, the group held street stalls and sold cakes and produce. Knitted goods and raffles proved popular.

Over the years fundraisers have included an annual spring luncheon, concerts in halls and private gardens, film mornings and games days, raising thousands of dollars.

Mr Ronalds said despite having seven children of her own, Mrs Bowen was always heavily involved with these events.

The branch sponsored boys from Starehe Boys Centre in Kenya and members took turns to correspond with the boys.

They also supported Midvale Out of School Care until it was officially handed over to the Woomera Aboriginal Community in October, 1990. Money raised was often directed to other out of school centres as members felt these played an important role with disadvantaged children in Perth.

Mr Ronalds said Mrs Bowen felt that every effort should be made to make the community aware of the desperate plight of children in Australia and overseas, and the important work of Save the Children.