News & Events

Writing is an art for volunteer Margot

April 8, 2020

When it comes to telling stories, Margot Yeomans is well practiced. She has been volunteering with OCAV for a year helping Rushall Park residents put their life stories into writing.

She is now preparing to be one of our first pen pals for residents in our Keeping in Touch program in any of our villages or Liscombe House who need a bit of cheering up while they stay at home safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

Margot has been working with two other volunteers – Danny and Fiona – writing life stories which she says has been one of the best things she has done.

“Writing down life stories is important for a couple of reasons. For the person who is telling it, particularly their early life which their families may not be familiar with,” Margot said.

“More generally these stories are important for social historians in years to come. We all know about famous people but often the non-famous are just as interesting, if not more so because we can relate much better to them,” she added.

For Margot, it does not matter whether a resident has children or not.

“Many have nieces, nephews or friends and what a treat it will be for them to know how Mrs Smith in Braeside Park, or Aunty Joan in Leith Park managed and did when we were all locked down with the corona virus in 2020,” Margot said.

Margot started her working life as a nurse and trained at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. When her daughter was at university and her son was doing his final year at school she thought perhaps she could understand better what they were doing if she went back to school.

She studied Year 12 at night school as a mature age student – which was good because she only had to do three subjects. When she completed that, she thought she would continue and do an Arts degree.

“My children banned me from going to the universities they were attending so I enrolled at LaTrobe. I completed a BA Hons in Art History and Literature, then went on to do a PhD in Art History – which had an extremely narrow focus because I looked at paintings of lace-makers from 17th century Holland,” Margot said.

For her it was a wonderful way to combine her interest in art history with her love of textiles, and especially those which are embroidered.

“I learnt to embroider at school but it wasn’t until I was in my late 20s and living in the States that I really started to embroider. It’s something that stayed with me and I still enjoy it,” she said.

Residents who would love to receive something from Margot or other volunteers, and volunteers who would love to be part of our Keeping In Touch program, please get in touch with Kim D’Angelis, Volunteer Coordinator on



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