Meet Fran: Strength, Compassion, and Dedication to Family and Community

12 Jul 2024 in Local News
Francis Watson originally originates from Scotland but moved to New Zealand with her husband for a better life. They settled in the North Island at Gibson, where they lived for 17 years and raised their daughter. In 1982, Fran's cousin, their only family in the Southern Hemisphere, invited them to move to Melbourne, Australia. Seeking employment, Fran responded to a job advertisement in The Age for a trainee counsellor position at Gloria Marshall Figure Salon in Preston, Melbourne. This opportunity marked the beginning of a successful 10-year career with the company, where she initially started as a weight loss counsellor and eventually rose to a management role. She fondly recalls the rewarding experiences of helping individuals, particularly adolescents who had faced bullying due to weight issues, achieve success in their weight loss journeys. Fran's dedication contributed to the Preston office winning multiple sales awards, which were personally presented by Gloria Marshall herself (refer to photo). Fran's journey took a significant turn when her young grandson, who has cerebral palsy, prompted a move to the Sunshine Coast 22 years ago. The decision was influenced by the recommendation of a physiotherapist at the children's hospital who suggested Queensland's beneficial environment for children like her grandson, especially with access to a suitable swimming pool. However, this relocation was not without its challenges, as Fran had to leave behind friends in Melbourne. Despite the difficulties, Fran prioritised family, emphasising, "family comes first, and we wanted to help my daughter with my grandson." Tragically, within a month of their move, Fran's husband succumbed to pancreatic cancer after a 2.5-year battle. Despite this devastating loss, Fran persevered, her resilience is evident in her life's challenges, including overcoming a hip replacement and open heart surgery, as well as enduring the emotional and physical demands of relocating from Scotland to the Southern Hemisphere and outliving two husbands. Her story is a testament to her strength, compassion, and unwavering commitment to family and helping others.

Just Better Care acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today. We also acknowledge the diversity of Australian culture and extend our support to all individuals, regardless of culture or sexuality.

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