Loretta Martin

I am one of Speakers Bank’s carer-speakers. I am a mother of three adult sons and a daughter and grandmother to 5 with one on the way. My husband passed away in 2013 after being blind and ill for a period of ten years.

I hold a Bachelor of Business (Administration) and a Diploma in Project Management.  I was in the workforce for a period of over twenty-five years. It was a great experience working with the Victorian Government, as a secretary to the Chief Judge at the County Court and with the Registrar in the Adoption Section. Latterly, after attending a Bridging Course, I moved to the Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development, and worked with the Investment Facilitation Unit, dealing with the Overseas Offices of the Department and the Financial Management and Administration Unit. Also, I initially worked with private enterprise for a few years.

I was a keen sportswoman and participated in sprinting, hurdles and high jumps. I also played hockey for eight years playing for the state of Rajasthan in India on a national basis. When I came to Australia I played hockey for Footscray for a couple of years.

During my working career, my husband Bill had a stroke in 2003 which unfortunately left him totally blind. Two years later in 2005 he had a second stroke, which took away his wellbeing and left him with a speech impediment.

For the first three years I juggled working and looking after my husband, utilising various services available to me to care for him. During that time, I developed the understanding, skills and knowledge on disability to evolve into a carer’s role. After three years of assessing the situation on managing Bill part time, I realised the time had come to embrace the role of caring for him fulltime.

I am completing a Certificate 4 in Disability through Annecto and that’s hectic. I will go for the whole year so that takes up quite a lot of my time.

I am quite involved with my children and grandchildren, but I also have other interests in life. I work for the Lions Club in Sunshine and there’s a fair bit to do with charity work and meetings.

My other interests are music, dancing, gardening and cooking but as I’m getting older I’m finding dancing is becoming a fraction hard because I have osteo- arthritis but I’m a battler and I’m determined to overcome it and keep going. I love cooking, but time is so limited because I’m always running around doing a million things and I live a 5-bedroom house which takes a bit of time in upkeep.

I have lots of friends that I keep in contact with and enjoy helping them with a bit of advice if they have family issues. I also keep in touch with my young grandchildren, this is teaching me a lot in life which is wonderful and I’m very proud of them and they are proud of me.  We contrate on the values in life and what life’s all about and they constantly react with me about that.

I like to share the challenges and triumphs that i faced and my experience of learning and development I gained from caring for my husband for ten years. Caring is not so daunting, I have no regrets, JUST BEAUTIFUL MEMORIES TO LIVE ON. The one thing I do concentrate on is love and kindness in this world

For more information about Loretta please contact Speakers Bank’s Project Officer on 03 9314 0988 or email speakersbank@annecto.org.au