By remembering World Vision in her Will, Avril made a life-changing difference for vulnerable children around the globe
During her life, Avril Cooke (pictured above) dedicated much of her energy to helping others. So it was no surprise to those who knew her best that she chose to leave a bequest to not one, but six not-for-profit organisations, continuing her support of causes that had been close to her heart during her life.
Avril included World Vision in her Will because she knew her gift would have a life-changing impact on a large scale. “Avril would have been thoughtful about who she’d chosen … who would have the biggest impact,” Avril’s niece Majella told World Vision CEO Claire Rogers and Head of Philanthropy Jay Longworth when she met with them at the end of January.
Majella described Avril as being “pretty special” – a vibrant, energetic and elegant woman who had a great concern not only for others, but for the world around her. She was an active volunteer both in Australia and overseas and found great reward in reading to children in Indigenous communities, as well as helping refugees and new immigrants.
Majella suggested that for Avril it was perhaps a personal understanding of feeling different – not always feeling at home – that helped form her deep compassion and sense of justice for immigrants, refugees and displaced people. Having moved from England at 16, Avril found life in Australia difficult at first. “It was a country that spoke the same language and yet was still different and still foreign,” Majella explained.
Later, Avril connected with refugees and immigrants through her work teaching English at Victoria University – hearing stories of the conflict, grief and loss they had experienced in their own countries. She identified with the difficulties they faced coming to a new country and, to help, rented the spare room in her home at a nominal price to people who were attempting to establish their lives in Australia.