Georgena Griffiths

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Georgena Griffiths.

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Unsung Heroes

Revealing the Remarkable in Seemingly Ordinary People

Georgena Griffiths

Georgena (Gena) Griffiths has spent most of her life caring for children. As well as raising six of her own, she has fostered an extraordinary, officially, 59 children, but the actual number is far higher and still, ostensibly retired, she raises funds for those disabled and families in need. However they could assist to care for children when their families have been unable to, Gena and Robert opened up their home and hearts. Gena has been known to shelter teens for short term accommodation with mattresses on the floor of her front room, house rules in place, a good breakfast and a willingness to listen. She would always look after babies in need of short term care.

Gena spent her early years in Pemberton where her family owned a shack on the edge of the estuary; its shallow waters a great place for crabbing with friends and relatives. When she was a teenager, Gena's family moved to Narrogin where she met Jimmy Griffiths and his brother Robert, joining with their group of high-spirited, fun-loving young people in the Wickepin area and becoming great friends. Robert, who was to become her husband, could not have known what was ahead. After they married, Gena took on the care of the boys' younger brother Allan, who stayed with them through his teenage years and speaks of her with high regard.

In all the years looking after children, Gena worked continuously to support children with special needs, founding Narrogin Therapy Activity Centre and later, Numbat Industries. She then set about fundraising to keep them going with cake stalls and making Lamingtons, still taking orders and producing hundreds of Australia's favourite cakes as long as people would buy them and she could direct the money to where it was needed. Gena has also supported Girls Brigade which empowers young women to develop their gifts and skills. When eventually, Numbats became part of the Activ foundation, Gena remained committed to helping to raise funds with woodwork, repairs and sewing. The group became renowned for their comical critters, the soft, stuffed animals with incongruously assembled body parts, uniquely designed and sought after. Once, when cutting a pattern with the electric scissors bought to make the task easier, Gena cut through the electric cord and received a severe shock. She still suffers the consequences with scarred lungs.

In 1990 Gene Griffiths was mentioned in the Australia Day Awards for Active Citizenship.

Now, having moved to the city, Gena cares for Robert, supports her daughter with her children who have special needs and with a group of willing friends and helpers, continues to work and contribute to the wellbeing of others


Unsung Heroes

Revealing the remarkable in seemly ordinary people

Portrait painted by Graham Smith 2020.

Text compiled by Jan Smith from notes provided with the nomination in 2020.

Website: http://bluewindfisher.com/unsungheroes

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