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Margaret finds passion for teaching sign language

sign language workshops
Margaret began offering sign language workshops at Ymazing Cafe in Bundaberg.

An interest in learning sign language and a passion for helping others has led Bundaberg resident Margaret Watson on a volunteering journey in the region.

Margaret began offering sign language workshops at Ymazing Cafe in Bundaberg a few years ago, providing the community with a place to learn Auslan for free.

Her passion for offering her services to the local community, as well as her love for art and poetry, have been featured in Bundaberg Regional Council's Our People Our Stories project.

The initiative aims to bring the community together by sharing the stories of local residents who have done extraordinary things.

Margaret said her workshops stemmed from her interest in sign language after being introduced to the form of communication through her daughter's school.

“There was a state school that had a pilot program for children that were hearing impaired,” she said.

“I was very interested so that’s when I started to learn sign language.

“By the end of year one every child in that school could sign.”

When she moved to the Bundaberg Region, Margaret wanted to continue her sign language work and decided to put a call out to the community to see if there was a local need for workshops.

Ymazing provided her a place to host Auslan sessions with the Bundaberg Homeschoolers group jumping on board, taking up Auslan as their language for their curriculum.

“I hosted the classes for free and had about 14 children learning sign language from the Bundaberg Homeschoolers,” Margaret said.

It was a place that allowed Margaret to meet people and provide assistance where she could, two things she always tried to involve herself in no matter where she was.

Margaret has travelled around the world and along the way has dived into many hobbies through her love of getting to know other people.

While her life has been filled with plenty of colour, Margaret has been no stranger to darkness after losing three husbands.

Although times have been tough, she said she had always come out on top with the support of others and through her hobbies of poetry and art.

“I have immersed myself in poetry and art,” Margaret said.

“I think they were my methods of helping me through some very difficult times.”