At the Governor’s residence in Brisbane, a prestigious event was held to honour the invaluable contributions of Regis Ferny Grove resident Mrs Joan Roper. During the event, the Governor of Queensland Jeanette Young presented Mrs Roper with the highly acclaimed Order of Australia (OAM) medal. This was a wonderful occasion for Joan and her family.

Born in Broken Hill in 1934, Joan spent her early childhood in Melbourne, where her family had relocated for her father’s work. Her family later moved back to Broken Hill when she was 14. After completing her schooling, she began working at the Public Trust Office at the Broken Hill courthouse, becoming the first woman to be employed in that role.

In 1955, Joan married Bruce Roper, a skilled tradesman and restorer of vintage cars and model aircraft enthusiast. From the mid-1970s until 2020, Joan worked as a piano and organ teacher in Broken Hill. At the age of 86, she relocated to Brisbane to be closer to her family. Her OAM award was bestowed upon her for her contributions to music in Broken Hill and her involvement with the Vintage and Veteran Car Club. She played an instrumental role in setting up the Broken Hill Eisteddfod Society and served as its President. She was also the Secretary of the car club. Her love for vintage cars was evident through her and Bruce’s long journeys across Australia in their cars, including her favourite, the Humber Super Snipe and her little Morris Minor.

Joan cherishes the social life at Regis Ferny Grove and takes every opportunity to participate in the musical performances. She has a digital piano in her room which she plays every day and is often joined by her daughter Caroline for duets.

Despite all her achievements, Joan remains humble about her OAM award.

“I don’t know what all the fuss was about with the medal. I was just doing what I love to do,” she said.

Regis Ferny Grove General Manager Kimberley Reimers appreciates the joy Joan brings to the Home.

“Our vivacious Joan — humble and the high note of the day for many,” Kimberley said.

At Regis, we believe in providing exceptional care and creating a community where residents can follow their individual passions.