Robyn

Robyn_photo

Name: Robyn
Age at interview: 66
Gender: Female

Robyn is 66 years old and works as the CEO of a community organisation. She has one daughter and two grandchildren. Robyn describes herself as an 'ageing feminist' with spiritual beliefs. She is single and lives by herself in Darwin, Northern Territory.

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More about Robyn

Robyn takes medication for diabetes, high blood pressure and hypothyroidism. She describes how the physical aspects of a disease impact on her emotional wellbeing and how she sees herself. One of the biggest issues for Robyn as she ages has been mobility and she finds it demoralising to be reliant on a walker. Robyn has been very independent all her life and ageing has presented physical barriers which negatively impact on her ability to be self-reliant. She is now focusing on natural health with her dietician and is taking a proactive approach with her doctor about ordering specific tests.

Robyn had hoped that as she grew older people would recognise her wisdom and common sense. Rather, she has found people are more likely to discount her. In terms of her work life, in which she has been very successful, Robyn describes hitting a 'glass ceiling' because of her age. She is aware that it would be a big transition to retire and she would miss interfacing with her peers. While she would like to work fewer hours, Robyn never wants to retire. She would rather die on her feet.

Robyn has always been interested in her community as a positive place to live. She has been volunteering with not-for-profit organisations since she was a teenager and is particularly interested in advancing the interests of women as equal members of society. She has worked with Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory for many years and believes we need to support Indigenous people to develop solutions that work for their communities, primarily through respect, training and building confidence.

On a personal level, Robyn has grown more confident with her own self-image in her older years. She describes motherhood as a very important gift in her life. She now has two grandsons, and wonders at them growing before her eyes. She gets an enormous amount of joy out of being a grandmother and sees her role as a support person for her daughter and son-in-law rather than an advisor.