Every Monday and Thursday morning our Book Fair volunteers go through the piles of books that are placed in the book bin in front of Tom Tweed Stadium. Judith is one of these Book Fair volunteers and has been for over 2 years now. Her role is to sort through the dozens of books that get donated each week into their correct genres. She specifically takes on the task of sorting the old and unusual books and pricing them – this sometimes involves quite a bit of research to learn about their history, value and how rare they are. Judith also helps out at the register during both the Easter and Spring Book Fairs.  

Judith is part of a local book club and when we (Bendigo Foodshare) took over the running of the Book Fair from the Y Service Club last year, the members of that club were asked if they would like to help out. Judith has volunteered at many charities throughout her life and comes from a family of volunteers, so she couldn’t pass up the opportunity. 

When Judith was asked what keeps her volunteering she said it’s what you get back – a sense of achievement and social connection. The book-sorting room on a Monday morning is never quiet, there is a real sense of camaraderie. When asked what she would say to someone contemplating volunteering she said “go and do it and if you don’t like it find a different task or somewhere else, I have never met anyone who doesn’t like volunteering. You may not find the right match straight away but if you look around you will find the match that is right for you.”  

Before Judith was a volunteer with Bendigo Foodshare she had an exciting career as an occupational therapist in the medico-legal area, she spent her days writing reports on people’s work capacity or need for WorkCover payouts . Before that she worked in a hospital with children, supporting them with activities of daily living. 

Fast forward to Judith’s retirement and when she isn’t busy sorting books, she is influencing over 70’s style/fashion using her Instagram account @judith_not judy. Judith has always been stylish minded and had a passion for fashion, however, six years ago she decided to share that with the world and has now amassed an impressive 3,000 followers.  

Judith started ‘influencing’ when she went to a fashion high tea and during the event, the participants were tasked with creating a fashion post on their Instagram pages as part of a competition. After this high tea, Judith didn’t post for a little while, however, she gradually increased the frequency of her posts, and with that gained more and more followers and popularity. Judith believes that every day is a special day and should be treated that way, she does this by putting effort into what she wears and how she looks. Judith has learned that many other women share this philosophy and there is a small but growing market of older women showcasing fashion on social media.