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10 Questions - Ronnie Benbow, Director of The Carers Foundation

Summer Reading

Ronnie Benbow, Director of The Carers Foundation, steps up to answer InQueensland Summer Reading’s 10 Questions.

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Did anything good come out of 2020?

You can always make something good come out of something adverse. I felt that 2020 enabled people to reassess their values, prioritise what was important in their lives, and be more giving to others in need. That’s always a good thing.

Personally, it enabled me to refocus and reassess the direction of the charity and launched the “WHO CARES?” campaign to raise awareness, which received great support from many VIPs and Celebrities. It showed that people really do care about others.

The highlight for me was that I was a nominee for the Queensland Australian of the Year, where I met the winner Dr Dinesh Palipana, and his mum Chithrani, who are now our patrons.

What’s your favourite summer memory?

Trips to the beach. Summer is about long hot days, so for me it’s reminiscing about the times when I could laze on the beach to soak up the sunshine and watch the joy on my boys’ faces, when they were younger, enjoying the surf.

Are you a summer or a winter person?

Even though I love the beach, I’m definitely a winter person. Who doesn’t love to snuggle up and keep warm?

How do you stay resilient during periods of change, like the year just gone?

When you operate a charity, being resilient is a huge part of what you do every day. To stay resilient, you have to stay focused on what your end goal or vision is, stay determined and strong and not allow others to tell you it can’t be done. Having a positive mindset is essential.

Who were your heroes of 2020?

Most definitely the firefighters during the devastating fires, then the front-line workers dealing with a panicked and frightened public during periods of isolation.

Family carers are always my heroes, and more so during 2020 as, even though Carers are used to isolation, COVID amplified mental health and isolation issues greatly since they could not access their normal resources and support, and the fear of them and their sick loved ones being infected with the virus was very real.

What’s your secret ambition?

My ambition is no secret and I work towards it every day; to establish Australia’s first healing and wellness centre, for unpaid family carers as young as 12, that will be a safe, healing haven where they can attend 24/7 to restore their own wellbeing before they have a health crisis breakdown.

What’s your favourite holiday spot?

Any of our beautiful beaches in Queensland.

What are you hoping for in 2021?

I am hoping there will be more stability, less stress and uncertainty that has caused so many to live in fear.

I’m also hoping that families can be together and be with their loved ones, especially those in care and for people to be more caring and considerate to others.

I hope to raise enough awareness and funds to purchase the new healing and wellness centre for carers and to address and focus on my own health so I will be stronger and fitter to achieve my vision.

What have you been watching on television/streaming services lately?

To be honest, I don’t usually watch much TV. However, I do enjoy a good mystery and did watch The Undoing miniseries with Nicole Kidman. I do love to go to the movies or live theatre for some time out.

Any people or businesses to watch in 2021?

Hopefully The Carers Foundation Australia, as we have a huge year planned with fundraisers.

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