Dorothy’s parents and Royce and Jean Abbey were friends. She recalls Royce stood out in her Essendon childhood years as “a Rotarian”. It was something special and he was treated very respectfully but she didn’t know what being a “Rotarian” meant and it would have been considered “rude” to ask.  It has taken her 69 years to know what it is to be “a Rotarian”.

Dorothy was born in Essendon and educated at MLC. She has two children. 

Dorothy’s early careers were quite varied. She created the first country BYO restaurant when living in Gisborne in early 1970s and was the owner of four menswear stores in Geelong and Lorne in the late 70s through to the late 1980s. In the 1990s she worked in men’s tailoring, and retailing of furniture and homewares.

In 2000, at the tender age of 50, and without an undergraduate degree, she was accepted at Swinburne University to study Post-Graduate Social Science (Human Service-Counselling). That led to a postgraduate degree in Bereavement Counselling.  In 2002 she entered Private Practice in Grief Counselling and was a provider and educator in trauma debriefing after critical Incidents in workplace and community disasters.  Dorothy was a registered Mediator to industry, and is a Career Transition Counsellor.

In 2005, Swinburne University invited Dorothy to lecture and convene the Trauma, Loss & Grief Counselling semesters in the Masters of Social Science, Psychology and Family Relationships. She also lectured in Palliative Psychology and Ageing. In addition, she presented workshops in depression, suicide, stress and self-care to industry and community health organisations.  She was an honorary counsellor to Very Special Kids, Autism Victoria and Dying with Dignity.

Dorothy was inducted to membership of the Rotary Club of Melbourne in 2016 and became very active very quickly. She is presently actively involved with the Bulletin as Editor and various Committees and Groups:

  •  Vocational Service
  •  R100 Centenary Celebrations
  •  Rotary/UNICEF
  •  IT and Communications
  •  Family Violence Group
  •  The Malvern Group
  •  Women in Rotary

She also assisted in the preparation of the new Code of Conduct, “Rotary Safe Families” and is a Mentor currently in both the Victorian Police Mentoring and Ambulance Victoria Mentoring Programs.

In her spare time, Dorothy is writing a book, travelling, and enjoying special times with her beloved granddaughter - teaching her to cook, how to laugh at herself and making the most of every wonderful moments with her. She also is involved in community projects, providing mentorship of young people and new Australians from India, giving radio presentations, and enjoying time with her extended family.  She is passionate about fair play, and justice for everyone.


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