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Sister Marietta Has a Bustling Social Life Supported by Home Care

Sister Marietta Green

On any given day you can find Sister Marietta Green filling her time by socialising with friends, neighbours and family. And if she’s not socialising with her human friends there’s always her neighbour’s cat, Jack, or the family of blue tongue lizards in her backyard.

“I have a lot of visitors. This house is like Pitt Street sometimes with how busy it gets,” she said.

Sister Marietta has had an interesting life spent in devotion to her faith, which is obvious in the number and variety of people that continue to visit.

Born in Ascott Park in Adelaide as the youngest of 10 (3 brothers and 6 sisters), she spent her childhood at a Catholic school.

At home with her siblings, she lived a devout life while her father worked shifts and the railyard and her mother ran the household, making sure all the children had tasks to do that would keep them from feeling bored.

“My mother didn’t believe in idle hands,” explained Sister Marietta.

While they completed the chores, their mother and father taught the family to harmonise, just like the famous Von Trapp family, and Sister Marietta still has a love of music to this day.

When she turned 19 she joined the Catholic Convent and lived a life that was “very regimental”, teaching across SA and NSW.

At the time, becoming a nun was a common calling, although Sister Marietta says there are not so many nuns around now.

“When I say I’m a nun people look at me funny as if to say, ‘where are your four heads?’” she said. 

“We’re as rare as hen’s teeth now.”

It was a move to Bourke in NSW that led Sister Marietta to her life’s purpose.

“They say life begins at 40, well it sure did for me,” she said.

Bourke was a much less regimental setting, where she could stretch her wings and work in not just the school but other community environments, wherever she was needed.

She worked with Aboriginal communities, teaching children and supporting families throughout all kinds of situations, and she loved it.

“I’d still be there if they didn’t tell me I was too old and had to retire. I loved every minute of it.”

As a teacher Sister Marietta must have done something right, as more than 50 years later she still receives visits from past students!

While Sister Marietta’s social life is well in order, she does have health conditions which make it difficult for her to keep the house in order on her own.

“I never had any trouble with my health until I turned 80. Now, you’d get an organ recital if you asked me what conditions I had,” she said.

But with a Home Care Package that provides regular cleaning services, shopping and Meals on Wheels deliveries, Sister Marietta has the support she needs to stay independent. 

She can also choose to continue doing all her own washing, make and tidy up her own breakfast, when she likes and how she likes it.

For exercise she says, “When I get up early in the morning I go for a walk around the block - I should say I go for a creep because I’m not quick”.

To help her get around, Sister Marietta has an indoor walker, an outdoors walker, and her “magic chair” which is a comfortable chair for her kitchen table that turns and slides forward, taking all the effort out of sitting at the table to chat to her visitors.

Five days a week, when all her energy has been spent on social interactions, a carer visits to make Sister Marietta a small dinner and help her get to bed.

She has also lived in the Southern Cross Care Macauley Mews Retirement Village at Brighton for 17 years, so her home maintenance is taken care of with a quick call to the maintenance team when needed.

“I’m well catered for and well looked after,” she said.