“The more you help people, the happier you will be.”
That’s the message Gin Gin resident Nora Reeves likes to live by and is something that has not only helped her find her way in the move from the Philippines to Australia, but also in her goal in providing community support wherever she is.
Having a fiercely independent attitude, Nora decided she wanted to explore the world at a young age and in 1983 she left her home in the Philippines to travel Japan.
“After high school I go by myself. I don’t rely on anyone. I never relied on my parents,” she said.
At age 34 Nora made the decision to move to Australia and landed in Moura where she lived before finally calling Gin Gin home.
Experiencing a not-so-warm welcome in the beginning, Nora made it her mission to create a space in Gin Gin where people of all cultures could come together and feel part of a community.
Her passion for creating connection has been told as part of Bundaberg Regional Council's Our People Our Stories project, which aims to shine a light on the lives of local people.
Nora began her journey in creating a multicultural group at the Gin Gin Neighbourhood Centre, where she went to study English.
It's where she met with a handful of Filipinos which became the start of the Godwana Group.
The organisation has since evolved into the Gin Gin Multicultural Reference Group which operates to this day.
It's not the first time Nora has provided a helping hand to those in the community.
When her children started school, Nora was there supporting the kindergarten through the P & C and community.
She continued to offer help to the primary school and then the high school as her children grew older.
It was important to Nora to teach her children how to survive and be good people in life.
Her children assisted Nora with community events by helping with the decorations and the raffles.
Nowadays, Nora still loves to give back to the community through baking cakes, teaching people how to cook international cuisine or creating international dolls.
She is always happy to share her culture with anyone who wants to learn.
“I am very proud of myself; I work so hard to help the people,” Nora said.
“My mother influenced me with kindness – I want people to succeed.
“The more you work hard you will achieve your goal. Anything you can do it’s achievable.”
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