Australia Day

26 January 2015

93 days to go

Lyn Thorpe

Lyn was born in Holland and migrated with her family in 1952 spending her informative years in Newcastle the new destination for many of the displaced people of Europe. It was a multicultural experience and one which was to impact her later in life. Life was hard but one learnt to appreciate the good life offered in a new country.

Nursing was always the dream and she found her niche in the surgical field. The Operating Theatre gave her the challenges. She combined marriage babies and nursing for many years but always had a desire to work in developing countries.

An invite came from a Plastic Surgeon and friend Dr Bill Walker to go to Uganda and Mozambique and help change the lives of those living in poor and impoverished communities where little or no healthcare was available. 

Lyn soon realised what a privileged life she had and was invited to join Rotary as the first female member of the Rotary Club of Hamilton. She identified that with Rotary anything is possible if you stay focused.

Her new husband David also a Rotarian he gave her the confidence to dream BIG. David a retired builder and Lyn were asked to go to Papua New Guinea on an Aus-Aid project and this is where they found a 21 year girl who was badly burnt 60% of her body 18 months previous with no treatment pending because of the remote location. On their return to Australia they raised enough money for Hadassah Aikari to be treated. She now leads a normal life and is an Ambassador for the Peter Hughes Burns Foundation, a Burns Councillor in Port Moresby for burns survivors and Mother of Baby Lyn.

Over the last 10 years Lyn has been involved in 32 volunteer projects repairing cleft lips and palates ,building programs and women’s health projects in Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Peru, West Timor, Pacific Islands , PNG, India ,China, Cameroon and Ghana.

Lyn believes that we all have the capability of making a difference in the lives of people less fortunate then ourselves in our own community and the emerging countries. Every Friday Lyn delivers Meal on Wheels and is involved with Alzheimer Australia Fund raising committee as she now cares for her David diagnosed with the disease and still manages to work part time to retain her skills and registration as a nurse.

Lyn hopes to be able to carry on into her twilight years doing what she loves.

She was awarded a
Rotary Paul Harris Fellow in 2005

Lake Macquarie Citizen of the Year 2009

New South Wales Senior Australian of the Year 2010

Order of Australia Medal in 2010