Another accolade for advocacy – Australia Day honours

January 25, 2022 BY

Dedicated: Ruth Hosking has campaigned for better aged care services for 40 years. Photo: PETER WEAVING

“IF there be any help I can offer, let me do it now for I will not pass this way again.”

It’s a saying Ruth Hosking heard in the first week of her general nursing studies over 70 years ago, but it has stuck with her ever since.

At 89 years old, Ms Hosking was this week awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for her services to the local community.

Her decades of work to advocate for improvements to the aged care system began in 1982 when she returned to school to pursue geriatric nursing.

“At that point in time, dementia was just becoming an entity of its own,” Ms Hosking said.

“Mum developed it at the same time, so I took a particular interest in dementia and spoke to any group that would ask me because everyone was finding that they had a family member with dementia and wanted to know more.”

Since then, Ms Hosking has dedicated her life to helping people understand and prepare for residential care through agencies like Council on the Ageing Victoria, the region’s Positive Ageing Advisory Committee and even a submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

“I’m at an ‘aged care’ age, but I’m still able to be an advocate and I’m just so delighted that as a result of the Royal Commission, it’s been identified that there is value in asking older people their opinion,” Ms Hosking said.

This week’s achievement adds to her Centenary of Federation Medal awarded in 2001 and the Rotary Club of Bendigo’s Sapphire Pin, received just seven years ago.

“I really thank everyone for making this possible. It’s because people have been willing to share their circumstances with me to allow me the opportunity to share with them advice,” she said.

“It helps them help themselves.”