Yvonne | Ōtara

“My first name is Yvonne and my home is in Ōtara. Been here for 54 years. I’m the Chair of the Ōtara Gambling Action and Smokefree Group, and I’ve been there for 20 years.

We’ve had lots of positives through our group with alcohol outlets opening, and in 2005 we got the capping lid on the alcohol and gambling out here in Ōtara, and I have been to many hearings, and a few of the hearings we got close. Some we didn’t, some we’re still working on. So, I think that’s a positive outlet for OGAAG, and I have all different members there, and we had an AGM on Friday for the community gambling out from Māngere. 

I’m very positive about Otara moving on. At the moment there have been too many shootings and we need somebody here in Ōtara with the suicide, because all the people in Ōtara, they’re wonderful people. I know a lot of people in Ōtara, and they all greet me. Even the young boys that clean the windows. They call me Aunty, and I get on well with the people in Ōtara. I’m also a volunteer at the Ōtara Citizens’ Advice Bureau and I have been there for 20 years. I’ve been volunteering all my life in Ōtara, and in 2006 I got the Queen’s Service medal for all my volunteering work, and in 2005 I got the most diverse volunteer for the Ōtara community. 

I love volunteering. It’s just one of the passions in my life. I don’t want to get paid for anything, and I’m in the Papatoetoe RSA. I’m not there to get money. I just want to help the Ōtara community. I came from Australian in 1960, on a working holiday, and I met my husband here in New Zealand, and I have five children. I’ve got 14 grandchildren. I’ve got 10 great-grandchildren. I lived in Herne Bay, and then Franklin Road in Ponsonby and my husband and I put in for a Housing Corporation in Ōtara. I got it out here in Ōtara, and that’s where I’ve been for 54 years, the same house. 

For other people to do volunteering, I know there’s a lot of places. I know that Blue Coach do it out at the airport, and there’s a lot of volunteering places that you can go if you’re passionate about volunteering, like up at the clinic up in Brown’s Road. You can answer the phones. Anywhere, you can do volunteering. It’s just that’s my passion, volunteering.”

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