Having moved from Scotland to Australia when she was 10, Margaret “Hazel” Bowie understood the sense of social isolation that comes with starting again in a new land.
How Hazel’s life made a difference
As a loyal and active member of Blackburn North Nunawading Uniting Church community, Hazel served on the Church Council and in multiple fellowship groups.
“Hazel really put her faith into practice,” remembers longtime friend, Cherril Randles. “And it enriched her life.”
Although she earned modestly throughout her life, Hazel donated what she could to the Outer Eastern Asylum Seeker Support Network for over 11 years.
When refugees from Myanmar formed a congregation at her church, Hazel volunteered her time, helping the minister to develop his English skills.
“She was very independent, private and lived frugally, but she had a strong sense of social justice,” says Cherril.
“Her only asset was her house, which she bought in the 1970s – a time of inequitable pay when it was difficult for a single woman to obtain a loan.”
It was this desire to create a fairer world that led Hazel to leave a gift in her Will to the Outer Eastern Asylum Seeker Support Network, run by a local Uniting congregation.
Hazel passed away in 2017.
“She was not in a position to make a significant financial difference during her life… but, in death, she has,” says Cherril.
How Hazel’s gift has made a difference
- Hazel’s gift of nearly $40,000 has helped to: extend the Asylum Seeker Centre’s opening hours
- provide Myki cards for newly arrived people to attend English classes
- send socially isolated people on camps to create new connections