Elder Law expert speaks at Hawks Nest Probus Club

Jill Forrester addresses the Probus Club at their November meeting.

THE HAWKS Nest and District Probus Club invited Jill Forrester to speak about her path through many fields up to her role as a Senior Associate at Thornton+King on Friday, 3 November at the Hawks Nest Golf Club.

With early foundations in home economics, Ms Forrester did food photography with Breville in the late 1970s, then sold the iconic toastie makers at Warringah Mall.

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At Tooth’s Brewery in Broadway, she kept executives’ in-office bars well-stocked.

“In the days of the ‘six o’clock swill’, invoices were all handwritten, to add that personal touch – how times have changed,” Ms Forrester remarked.

Lacking maternity-leave options in the 1980s, Ms Forrester left to have a family, then rediscovered the old Breville cookbooks, and chanced upon a catering role for a Sydney Harbour tourist boat, before heading south and working in hospitality at a local church institution.

Through a special employment course at TAFE in 2000, Ms Forrester “finally learnt how to type”, and faced “one of the hardest days of my life, walking into the Centrelink office at Bowral”.

Living like a student, with two part-time jobs atop studies, and raising teenagers, she was advised to upgrade her studies to a Bachelor of Arts at Western Sydney University.

Technological tribulations followed, citing “you need a degree in government paperwork”, but Ms Forrester eventually found studies in law, specifically in Elder Law, to her liking.

Working at the Guardianship Tribunal, which receives thousands of cases per year, she noted, “Each file was a person with a disability who had family and friends who cared deeply, or argued significantly.

“My time at the Tribunal was extremely rewarding and gratifying,” Ms Forrester added, then turning to her time with the Coronial Court.

“Staff manage unexpected death every day, and there are many specialists, and the police,” Ms Forrester gave rare insight into the bureaucratic minutiae of after-death government services.

This was the last Probus meeting for 2023, with the next in February 2024, and AGM in March.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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