People who knew Victoria will recognise most of this, but you might also learn some things you didn’t know.

In memory of Victoria Barbara Brown; 18th November 1950 – 4th June 2019.

If you didn’t know Victoria then maybe after reading this you will. I felt it really important to dedicate a special page to my great friend and colleague of 35 years, for all she has done for the aged care sector – although words will never be enough to reflect Victoria’s passion and hard work.

Victoria was born in Whangarei. At Hamilton Girls’ High School, Victoria was awarded the accolade of Dux for her outstanding academic results. Victoria studied Law and Arts at Auckland University and settled on a teaching career in the secondary sector. She taught Geography for many years at Selwyn College.

Victoria enjoyed the challenges of teaching in the late 1960’s when students could still arrive at school without shoes and the chalk board still existed as the centrepiece of a classroom. However, Victoria felt that her passions and vocation lay elsewhere.

Victoria’s calling was to lead her to open the “Komatua Care Centre,” in Devonport. As she had always been part of a large Whangarei whānau she understood the responsibility of caring for the elderly and she knew that services for the elderly were being relegated to the forgotten basket. Victoria managed her care centre for 37 years with the support of her sister, Bess, her nieces and many local staff.

Victoria’s many skills, her passionate zeal and her strong advocacy ensured that she would also become an advocate and leader in the field of dementia. She was the voice for those individuals suffering from this devastating illness and for their families who struggled with the crippling effects of dementia.

As the representative of Care Association New Zealand (CANZ) Victoria regularly met with sector policy makers and representatives in charge of the aged care sector to seek a just outcome for the smaller stand-alone facilities, ensuring that they were not forgotten as they fulfil such an important place in New Zealand’s aged care sector. Victoria always fought for a fair and just outcome.

The aged care sector has lost a true advocate who ensured that the voice of the providers was heard.

Victoria was the founder of ‘Helping Hands’ of Devonport. Victoria was a generous sponsor of the programme where 70-100 homeless individuals were offered a weekly hot meal. She cared deeply about the plight of those who are vulnerable in our society.

Victoria, you were special to all of your family and they will remember you with great love. I have had the privilege to witness the love you were surrounded with. You leave behind a legacy they will carry on.

I am going to miss you so much my friend.

Victoria passed away peacefully surrounded by her family at her home on 4th June 2019. Her strength throughout was admirable, courageous and brave.

Let’s keep in mind the importance of telling your nearest and dearest how much you love them and what they mean to you while they are alive – don’t wait until it is too late!

Gone but never forgotten!

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