Penny Davies has many awards, including the Order of Australia (AM), but an OBE is not among them, especially one from the British Empire. Penny’s OBE stands for ‘Over Bloody Eighty’, and she is happy to join the many active, strong women who can claim just that honor.
With three siblings and a mother who was proud that she was ‘homemaker’, the money was lacking and the children got the work before and after school. At the age of 13, Penny’s first job was with Mr Masteika, a Yugoslav migrant and cabinetmaker.
“I translated for him when he needed it, and made the books for the company. However, I have never seen a penny of the money,” Penny said.
As a 15-year-old, still attending girls’ school, Penny was sent to work part-time at the local country store.
She caught a bus at 7am and worked for a few hours, ran down the hill to school and then clocked on again from 4pm for the afternoon shift and then reached the bus home much later.
Two years later, and with all her salary still going into the household’s consolidated income, Penny decided it was time to ‘get out’, and applied for a nursing scholarship.
“It was one of the few ways cute girls could legally leave home in 1972. I graduated and four years later I decided to take a teacher training course.
“I have always been happy to explore educational opportunities in various fields, including art, health and education and to complete higher degrees. Studying gave me great personal satisfaction.”
Penny spent 10 years teaching in a secondary college while raising her young family, a boy and a girl. Both had cystic fibrosis, so the challenges for this working mother were many and varied.
“Challenging and more often than I would have preferred, extremely confrontational, my life has been mixed with sadness, opportunity and success. My life has certainly not been boring or boring, nor do I ever expect it to be. I do not. . have time.
Life is too valuable and too precious to be boring and boring.
– Dr. Penelope K Davies AM PhD History l M.Hlth.Sc.
“These days, I believe that volunteering, paid or unpaid, is one of the most significant gifts one can give to others. It brings with it the privilege of meeting and sharing life experiences with people from a wide range of backgrounds. .
“If I have been able to give comfort, support and occasionally a pearl of wisdom to others, I will have achieved what I set out to do – to make life worthwhile for myself and my loved ones.
“GrowwEventually, I did not feel that being a girl ever hampered what I wanted to achieve. The word in 2022 is pivot and it’s my life for a T, “Penny adds.