Perth Hills: long-term volunteers recognised for their efforts


Diane Rudwick (Margaret's daughter) and Margaret Rudwick of Mundaring with Shirley Andrusiak of Darlington. Picture: David Baylis d483066
Diane Rudwick (Margaret's daughter) and Margaret Rudwick of Mundaring with Shirley Andrusiak of Darlington. Picture: David Baylis d483066

DAILY life is busier than ever for two women in their twilight years who make time to help others.

Shirley Andrusiak (78) became a volunteer with Diabetes WA about 23 years ago when doctors diagnosed her daughter with type 1 diabetes.

At the time, the Darlington mother of four was also a lecturer at Midland Tafe and a volunteer guide for Rottnest Island.

She puts together the charity’s welcome packs for people registered with the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS).

“If these packs didn’t get posted, people wouldn’t be able to manage their diabetes as efficiently,” she said.

Diabetes is the world’s fastest growing chronic condition and there is no cure; 28 people are diagnosed with diabetes each day in WA.

Mrs Andrusiak has been a Rottnest volunteer for 25 years and said she finds both roles challenging and fulfilling.

In her spare time, the energetic grandmother spends time with family, meets friends for golf and plays drums with The Bassanovas.

For the past five years, Diabetes WA has engaged the samba band to entertain runners at the Run for a Reason.

Diabetes WA recently thanked their volunteers as part of events to mark their service during National Volunteer Week.

Inventory Support Officer Ray Coffey said the work of volunteers was incalculable.

“Shirley’s a gun – she does excellent work, and is very reliable,” he said.

Australian Red Cross recently paid tribute to Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) holder Margaret Rudwick, for 41 years of service to the organisation.

She joined the Mundaring branch in 1977 and devoted time to each role in the group before she became the president.

“There are only two members left in the Mundaring group, myself and my daughter Diane,” she said.

The mother and daughter ambassadors, who regularly support charity appeals, made more than 200 poppies for the RSL on Anzac Day.

Mrs Rudwick received the Red Cross service award in 2011 and the 3rd Bar for 40 years of service in 2017.

The Mundaring resident is also known for past work as a volunteer with Hands on Care at Yallambie Hostel.

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