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Helping Inala evolve

71-year-old Margarete has had extensive involvement with the Inala community during her time as a public housing tenant.

She has organised raffles with the South West Progress Association to help raise funds to stage Christmas carols at schools, volunteered with the Queensland Ambulance Service and run a trimmers group for 16 years to help people lose weight.

“I was also secretary with the South West Brisbane Tenants group where we focused on improving the standard of housing for people,” Margarete said

“I stopped volunteering when I became a full-time carer for my grandson.”

“Working with the Inala Housing Service Centre staff was a pleasure, they were always very gracious and they did everything possible to please the people who lodged requests.”

Margarete had a key role in some historic occasions in Inala, notably when the revamped Inala Town Centre was opened 17 years ago.

“We opened up the new centre with Jim Soorley,” Margarete said.

“I also played a part in getting a train station to Richlands 12 years ago.”

“I spent three weeks getting 7,000 people to sign a petition to bring a train station to Richlands so when it actually happened it was a fantastic moment.”

“I was standing there at the station when the first train came through,” she said.

On the move

Margarete is used to packing up her worldly possessions and moving house.

Since moving into her first public housing home after the birth of her second child in 1969, she’s lived in eight government homes and a couple more in the private rental market.

Margarete lived in her first house for seven years before re-marrying and moving into a new home and gaining custody of five more children through her husband’s previous wife.

“We lived in a four-bedroom home at Kingston for ten years,” Margarete said.

“Once the kids left home I downsized and came back to Inala in 1986.”

“I was always happy to go from four to three to two bedrooms if I had to.”

After switching into the private rental market for 12 months, Margarete was fortunate to be accepted into another public housing home at Inala.

She was there when the new Inala Housing Service Centre opened in 1993, bringing a local focus to the quest to find homes for people in need.

“Public housing to me has been an absolute blessing, I have never had one ounce of trouble,” Margarete said.

Still a carer

Margarete now lives in a wheelchair accessible house and cares for her 24-year-old grandson who has an intellectual disability and serious health problems.

She has been his primary carer for ten years.

A second grandson will be moving back in with her later this year.

Margarete is happy to help out and grateful she’s been able to spend her life in a variety of homes around Inala, Acacia Ridge and Kingston.

“I love it here,” Margarete said.

“I remember the ’74 floods, some parts of the surrounding suburbs went under but the water only came into our front yard, we were lucky.”

“The area has changed a lot but it’s home for me and it always will be.

The Inala Housing Service Centre turns 25 on 2 March 2018.

Last updated 02 March 2018    Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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