Celebrating women in our community – Dianne from Main Street Reception

At The Royal Children’s Hospital we are inspired daily by the staff, patients and families who walk the halls and ahead of International Women’s Day on Friday we wanted to celebrate those women.  Each day this week we will be sharing stories and hearing what International Women’s Day means to them.

Many of us would have walked past Main Street Reception’s “fairy godmother” Dianne too many times to count, so we caught up with her to hear a bit about her RCH journey, the women who inspire her and why she loves volunteering.

Tell us about your RCH journey.

I started my induction training as a volunteer with RCH on the 16th July, 2013. After my business closed in 2011 I was at a loss, my cousin suggested volunteering at RCH, which was a little unusual as I could not have children, however I had 13 nieces and nephews and was very used to children. On my first day you couldn’t wipe the smile off my face I was so happy. My first role was on the ward, then because of my customer relations background was invited to be on the Main Street Reception. I adore this role and do a double shift in this capacity.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

On International Women’s Day, I will give thanks to all the women who fought for us to have the same rights as men so we may have equal opportunities.

Which women are you inspired by?

The women whom inspire me and I admire are:

Joan of Arc for her bravery, quote “I am not afraid I was born to do this.”

Madam Curie for her inquisitive mind, quote “Nothing in life is to be feared it is only to be understood.”

Anne Frank for her compassion, quote “Despite everything I believe people are really good at heart.”

Frida Kahlo for her strength, quote “I tried to drown my sorrows but the bastards learned how to swim, and now I am overwhelmed by this decent and good feeling.”

Audrey Hepburn for her humanitarian work, quote “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I’m possible.”

Princess Diana for her resilience in the face of adversity, quote “Everyone has the potential to give something back.”

Queen Elizabeth II, Stoic, the Queen has been an important figurehead during her extraordinary reign in times of enormous social change.

What is one of your greatest achievements?

My greatest achievement is surviving through very tough times and for 36 years of running my own manufacturing and retailing business in the fashion industry, with Australian made merchandise.

And what are you hoping one of your next achievements will be?

I am hopeful my next achievement will be to keep the family together as I had four sisters, three of whom have passed away and I would hate to see the family drift apart, so I am making it my role to ensure this doesn’t happen. This may not change the world however they are my world.

What are different ways you like to empower women in your everyday life?

I like to empower women by encouraging them to become independent and choosing to make their own decisions instead of having someone else make them. I do this in my other volunteer role as well as with my friends.

If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would be?

My advice to my younger self would be stop making up scenarios. You don’t know the future, go with the flow.

What is your favourite RCH memory?

Happy memories are made every Wednesday when I am on the desk. I give children stickers and the delighted look on their face is priceless, you would think I had given them a fortune. I also use a wand as a pointer for way finding, the children ask “are you a fairy?” and my reply “no I’m a fairy godmother.” “Ohhhh” they say in acceptance and walk off happily.

What would you say to younger women aspiring to enter the advocacy space?

I would encourage all women and men to give something back by volunteering, believe me you will not regret it.

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