Billie Galloway has only recently retired from caregiving after 60 years of service and caring for thousands of children. Known as ‘Mum”, Aunty Billie and more lately ‘Nana”, Billie’s year’s of caregiving were celebrated in Auckland recently by those she had cared for, people she had worked with, friends and family. All acknowledged this wonderful woman who is always smiling and gives unconditional love.
Billie came from a large family and as the eldest child looked after her brother and sisters, so being a carer in a family home was a natural choice for her. She started in Greenslade, Northcote and then she moved to the Manurewa family home. Billie was always supported by her husband. After she retired as a full time caregiver she continued as a reliever. Billie was a reliever until she had a stroke last October and even then, she still likes to visit the family home.
“In Billie’s house I learnt what love is”, said by one young man who had been in Billie’s home. It is a sentiment and feeling that is shared by many. Billie gave all the children she looked after unconditional love, she would take the children under her wing and do little things to make them feel special.
For Billie the family home was like any home they had family pets and went on family holidays, sometimes with 12 children. Celebrating Christmas was a big affair for Billie and in both family homes she had a hangi pit dug for Christmas day.
Billie’s desire to help doesn’t stop at the children, she has been a member of the Auckland Foster Care Association since its inception, 40 years ago, and over the years has held many officer roles, she is still the Vice Chair. She has been a volunteer Critical Support worker for Fostering Kids NZ for many years and is known for not giving up on caregivers. Not only this, but Billie and her husband William received Queen’s Service Medal’s for their wonderful service as caregivers.
On behalf of Fostering Kids NZ, we would like to acknowledge all the amazing work that Billie has done and wish her a lovely retirement.
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