Aunty Joyce McDonald

At the age of 82, it's fair to say that Bowen Elder Aunty Joyce Macdonald has had an eventful life.

Born and bred in Winton to her Kalkadoon mother Louisa Hickson and Scottish descent Father, Stockman Jack Foster, she led what she describes as "a normal school life" as the youngest of ten children.

"I had beautiful parents and led a good, strict and loving life," she said.

"Yes, I've had my ups and downs but I've had a good life."

And it's a life that's included many twists and turns, and given Joyce experiences working in many diverse fields.

Earliest working life at the age of nineteen, she worked as a telephonist at the Townsville Telephone Exchange for ten years.

She's worked for Bowen Shire Council as an office clerk in the 70s, sold real estate and insurance, and returned to council as secretary to the engineer of the council who worked on major developments in the region at that time.

During the many 'Know Your Bible' study years, she also acted as publicity officer for the Bowen group and led Bible study groups from her home.

In 2000, Joyce was one of eight people from the local community to complete a Social and Emotional Health and Wellbeing Course.

In 2007 Joyce was featured in the Australian Documentary "Matilda Candidate" where she was interviewed by producer Curtis Levy about her late Mother, Louisa Hickson, who was a servant girl on "Dagworth Station" for many years, during the time Banjo Patterson composed the lyrics to "Waltzing Matilda".

Throughout her life, Christian faith has been a constant factor.

She was raised in the Anglican Church, and has since joined The Power of the Spirit fellowship under the guidance of Pastors Kelvin and Rosemary Power.

Her involvement in the Power of the Spirit Fellowship has given her the golden opportunity to do part-time study for her Certificate IV in Christian Ministry and Theology through the Australian College of Ministries in Sydney.

Joyce says the study is one way that she can give back to the community, and follow her path of compassion and kindness.

"I believe that we have to be kind and loving to people," she said.

"And if I can help anybody, that would be great."

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