Julia: G'day, Joanie, it's me. And how are you, sweetie?
Joan: How are you?
When I'm seeing you, I've got it marked on the calendar. I know that on that date, on that time, you'll be coming through my door. Where there might not have been another person come through my door, since the last time you came.
Narrator: Each fortnight, for the past six years, Julia volunteers to visit Joan at her home near the Gold Coast. They love nothing more than chatting and going out for the occasional ice cream.
Joan: What do you remember about our first visit?
Julia: I remember that I was a little bit nervous about meeting you and I thought, "Well, I hope Joan will like me and I hope I will like her," because those things are important.
Narrator: As a long-time LGBTQI+ community ambassador, Julia became aware of a distinct need for aged care volunteer visitors in her community, and has been a keen advocate ever since.
Julia: This is Sheldon Riley at the World Pride opening concert and there were about a 100 of us from all the different choirs that had attended Out and Loud and Proud.
Julia: And that's me singing. See it there?
Joan: Oh yeah, I can see you.
Julia: We actually sort of went, "Oh wow," after it was done, it was amazing.
Is it nice having someone who's also from the LGBTIQ+ community coming to visit?
Joan: Well, it's very important to me because I've been living here 10 years, isolated for 10 years. Out of the gay scene, living in denial of being gay.
Julia: I think it's really important that members of our community and that we support each other. There are a lot of people in our community who, for one reason or another, are totally alienated from their family. Often they can be very lonely and when they get to be in aged care, they're even lonelier because they're often too frightened to identify. And I thought, "No, this isn't good." That's why I thought, "Yes, I need to do this."
Joan: The service is so important to me. Spending that time with me, it means so much to me. I appreciate so much, the fact that you have put yourself out there to make yourself available. And I appreciate you understand my position, so I do appreciate you.
Julia: Thank you for saying that, Joanie. That means a lot.
Narrator: We're looking for aged care volunteer visitors in your area. Go online and sign up today.
Julia has visited Joan in her home as a volunteer every fortnight for the past 6 years. They open up about the importance of visiting LGBTQIA+ older people who may be isolated from their family or community.