Jill Nash is proof retirement doesn't always stick.
Jill Nash is proof retirement doesn't always stick.

Creative thinking leads to active world

JILL Nash turns eighty in the next month and she figures it might be time to retire, again, if she can find the time.

At the moment she is has plenty of irons in the fire including being convener of Arts In Health at the Macksville and Coffs Harbour Hospitals which are currently under construction but then that's nothing new for Jill who came up to the Coffs District in 2004.

"Initially my son lived here and worked for the local Health Department (and is still here 20 years later),” she said.

She initially retired to South of Sydney but soon found herself drawn north.

Though retirement had been her intention, the floods that damaged the Sawtell Cinema soon saw her fully engaged in her new community, forming the Friends Of Sawtell Cinema to help the then owners get the business back on its feet.

When the business closed three years later because the owners couldn't afford to convert it into a digital cinema, she stepped in again heading up a consortium of 20 investors to bring it back to life and up-to-date.

For Jill it was a no-brainer getting involved in the cinema - it was an industry she was very acquainted with - working at the Film, Television and Radio School in Sydney from 72 to 80 (in the time of Gillian Armstrong and some of the now big names of the Australian film industry).

"It was absolutely amazing,” she admitted.

Before that she worked in TV News in England. Her love of the industry has been passed on to her family with her son working for the ABC while her daughter is a cinematographer.

At 64 she went back to university for a degree in Politics and International Studies through UNE graduating the month before her 70th birthday.

"Part of my studies led me to go Vietnam to teach English,” she said. Further trips followed to Nepal (just after the earth quake), Ecuador and Tanzania.

In recent times she has been running a Planning for Later Life course for U3A and now the working with NSW Health a role on integrating art and art spaces into the new hospitals but that role was ending, and she was maybe thinking it was time to retire. However, with her eightieth birthday fast approaching there is a new role looming with NSW Health and of course she would like to finish her memoir (not for publishing but for her children and grandchildren).

Yes, retirement doesn't seem to really be in Jill's vocabulary.


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