Below is one of the images I won 2017 AIPP ACT Documentary Photographer of the Year and 2017 ACT Professional Photographer of the Year was this image below. As with any portrait there is always a back story. I empathise completely with Keith, Glenys’ husband, and for me this image means so much.
Here are a few words from Keith:
“Glenys always managed family, friends, work, sport and volunteering together. Her two adult sons jumped at the chance to attend Glenys’ OAM investiture and are extremely proud of their mum and most grateful for her devotion to their lifelong welfare. Of course I am the luckiest husband in the world and Glenys has many close and loving personal friends here, interstate and overseas. She always said you have to give more than your 50 per cent share towards a friendship.
Glenys retired from paid work in 2002 but that was simply the start of her even heavier involvement in sports administration volunteering. Glenys was President of Table Tennis ACT for 20 years and Executive Director for several years before that. A keen networker, Glenys was known around the Canberra sporting world for her dedication and insistence that table tennis held its place as a serious competitive sport, her advocacy and hands-on attention to the needs of women in sport, juniors, athletes with a disability and veterans, and her colourful, stylish tracksuits. Glenys carried the flag for the ACT on national boards and committees, often as the first woman. Loyalty and single minded determination are strong points in Glenys’ character. Woe betide anyone who treats her unfairly or with insufficient respect. The fierce competitive spirit remains alive today.
Glenys played national veterans table tennis for many years, proudly representing Australia once when she won gold in the New Zealand individual, doubles and teams championships. Glenys remained a top grade local player until 2013, then continued to coach and travel as the ACT veterans team manager until 2015. It wasn’t until then that Glenys relinquished her Presidency.
Glenys had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2011. By 2016 this was superseded by her Lewy Body Dementia and she now has to live in a nursing home. As the months go by Glenys is becoming more wheelchair bound. Although she is mostly confused and often distressed, Glenys fortunately had one of her short periods of clarity whilst in the presence of the Governor General, so we have been celebrating the investiture as a logistical success not to mention an emotional one. The smiles are rare, often have to be prompted, but still light up the room”
Lewi Body Dementia is the second most common type of dementia after Alzheimers. We hope this raises some awareness of a truly awful disease, and that dementia as a whole is NOT a normal part of the ageing process. More information can be found at Alzheimers Australia or follow the Canberra team on Facebook
Mrs Glenys Joliffe receives an OAM for service to her sport of Table Tennis