I was born at Stanmore in Sydney six months before the outbreak of WWII to young parents from country NSW, Noel and Flora Cameron, and 16 months before the birth of my only sibling, a sister, Roslyn. My childhood was spent at Chatswood, another Sydney suburb when I attended Roseville Primary School and later, Hornsby Girls High School. I did well academically at primary and secondary schools.
At age 17 I went with my family to live in London for three years, thus putting future plans on hold. On return, while working at Perpetual Trustees in Sydney, I continued my studies and matriculated into Sydney University to study psychology, philosophy and English. I gave these away after three months as I was by that time engaged to be married and needed to work. Taking a job as private secretary to stockbroker Gordon King of Ralph W King and Yuill, I remained there during the period before and after marriage to David Tulloch until I was four months pregnant with our first son, Bruce David, born in 1963.
David and I lived for a short period in Pymble, another in Roseville and a very brief stay with Alastair Merrick at Hunters Hill before moving into our first home in Monmouth Avenue, Killara. Our second son Ian Cameron, was born while we were there in 1966, the year of decimal currency. As Ian became a toddler, and deciding against further children, I studied current affairs casually before studying for and gaining a Real Estate Agent’s licence. Still unsatisfied, I took up voluntary work with the Marriage Guidance Council of NSW and moved into training as a counsellor. During that period, we moved to 24 Wattle Street, Killara. Accreditation as a counsellor achieved, but still feeling unsatisfied, I applied to Macquarie University at North Ryde to study as a mature age student. In 1972 I began a part-time six-year course majoring in psychology, graduating in May 1978.
By that time, my marriage to David was in dire straits owing to the pressures of his hectic career in Chartered Accountancy, my heavy involvement in both study and home and family management and an insuperable conflict of values. I became seriously ill and was hospitalised. Recovering, I returned home for a period, taking part-time research work in psychology and finally full-time work in Behavioural Sciences at Macquarie University as I continued to seek life fulfilment. The strain proved too much for all of us. I left the marriage and the family at the end of 1979 with great misgivings. That left our two teenage boys, Bruce now 16 and Ian 13, in the sole care of David who refused to negotiate with me in any way.
After protracted but unsuccessful efforts to reach a mutual understanding and settled agreement with David about a possible future, I finally divorced him in October 1982. By this time Ian had come to live with me in my rental accommodation at Lindfield and Bruce coped by distancing himself from everyone and getting on with his Electrical Engineering degree at University of NSW.
Five months later, in February 1983, David had a heart attack while in bitter dispute with two of his Chartered Accountant partners. He recovered briefly but died a week later owing to failed oxygen supplies to his brain. After a month, I returned with Ian to the family home at Wattle Street to care for both boys while Bruce worked on his degree and Ian struggled to put his shattered young life together. During that time, I became closely involved with the local Uniting Church at Lindfield and found much support there.
As soon as was feasible, I found a town house at Wollstonecraft to be our new home. Bruce turned 21 and Ian, now 17, fell in love with Monica Trapaga and left home. Bruce and I left the Killara home and moved to the Wollstonecraft town house (as illustrated top right of this and every page) in December 1984. The Killara home was rented for a year and then sold.
Ian and Monica became parents to Lilian May in August 1985. In April 1986, they separated and Ian returned to live with Bruce and me. During this period he studied for his childcare qualifications. At the end of 1986, Bruce completed his degree, graduating in April 1987. His companion at the time was Janine de Saxe, a law graduate. Bruce moved into his own accommodation in 1987, making more space for Ian and baby Lil who often visited.
As I was now settled in my new home, my conventional office job was no longer satisfying. At the encouragement of my minister, Rev Moira Laidlaw, I decided to study for the ministry of the Uniting Church in Australia. I began study in February 1987 at the Uniting Theological College. At the same time I met Rev Bruce Roy, Army Chaplain, at the local Uniting Church and we commenced to go out together.
By April 1989, Ian had completed his course and moved out of home. My studies were going well, but I was suddenly hit with the shock of major hearing loss. Bruce Roy was very supportive. We decided to get married in December 1989 and to live in the Wollstonecraft townhouse. My studies were completed at the end of 1990 and in April 1981 I began my first ministry at Bethlehem Uniting Church, West Pennant Hills, in a part-time capacity. That congregation, under my encouragement and with Bruce Roy’s guidance, merged with another local UCA congregation in nearby Cherrybrook and I took another part-time settlement at Denistone East Uniting Church until April 1998. I worked casually for the rest of 1998, beginning part-time supply ministry at Balmain Uniting Church in 1999, the year I turned 60.
At the turn of the century, I became seriously ill and was hospitalised. Recovering, I decided my working days were now limited and on June 30th 2001, gave all thought of further major ministry away. I became a member of Pitt Street Uniting Church where I offered my casual services in various roles until the end of 2005.
In retirement, I have become involved with the Older Women’s Network of Sydney and more broadly, of NSW and Australia. Now, in 2007, aged 68, I am in the process of shaping a satisfying retired life.Email me