Profiles of Champions

Volunteer at Braille HouseHow do you describe champions in our society?

  • By their academic achievements?
  • By the amount of money they have made?
  • By their ability to entertain others?

At Braille House we have two champions, Marion Wood and Shirley Sara, who were honored with life membership at the Queensland Braille Writing Association’s (QBWA) recent Annual General Meeting.

QBWA Council member Wendy Alexander described our champions perfectly in her following speech:

Good morning everyone.

Braille House has a certain camaraderie; a quietly appreciative way of acknowledging efforts, a please keep coming we enjoy your company, an awareness of “it’s good to provide for others” feel to it.

It’s because of the people who work in it!!

Incidentally, did you know that I get the best jobs at Braille House? Today is one of them.  Today I have been asked to let you in on the celebration of two of our great workers  …  to help us celebrate two life members.

How may of you know the author Beatrix Potter?

How many of you know her character Mrs Tiggy Winkle?

Mrs Tiggy Winkle goes about quietly helping everyone. She is always clean, kind, tidy and caring.  She does the laundry for her fellow woodland friends.  If there’s a problem she quietly fixes it.  She does not seek the limelight; she’s just pleased to do a good job.  She makes the world an easier place to function through her work.

Did you know we have our very own Mrs Tiggy Winkle? She quietly comes in, does her work, makes sure she has plenty of work to do at home, signs off and scuttles out the door.

Our Marion has brailled countless books, all at home, and when here, helped by her mate Margaret, organizes the distribution of brailled manuscripts to proof readers. She has provided many books, for all to read, as well as making sure they are good quality and worth reading.  A really valuable quiet worker for nearly 40 years.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Marion Wood.

When I talked to our Braille House folks about their idea of our second candidate, what I got in return was a serene, happy facial expression and comments about how she emanated friendship happiness, knowledge and degrees of positiveness. It seems she quietly went around topping up everyone’s tank of self esteem, confidence and skills.  I know she worked hard too. 

When the library administration combined, I got to hear how graciously she taught someone a new skill, how she included everyone as valuable, useful people and how she always was there working beside or with you – some lady huh?

What I had seen was that if there was work to be done she would be there, organizing books, helping others, chasing queries, helping in the kitchen. This good fairy is our little ray of sunshine, a beautiful positive person through thick and thin.

I am sure her daughter Wendy knows how much we have appreciated her efforts. I reckon Wendy rehearses her spiel about “How’s your Mum” on the way to Braille House everytime.  She’s always being asked.

Ladies and gentlemen I give you our very own good fairy, confidence giver, helper, worker and all round ray of sunshine – Shirley Sara.

Braille House can always benefit the assistance of volunteers. If you are inspired by Wendy’s speech and would like to consider volunteering at Braille House please contact us on 3848 5257.  We have many rolls available including administration, marketing and event/fundraising management.  If you can’t commit as a volunteer but would like to help out some other way, again, please contact us 3848 5257 as we have a number of ways people can get involved in assisting people with low or no vision – just like our Mrs Tiggy Winkle, Marion Wood and our Ray of Sunshine, Shirley Sara.


Braille House (Queensland Braille Writing Association) is a non-profit organization providing Braille and Moon tuition and reading materials to empower people who are blind or who have low vision to live with dignity and independence. Although located in Brisbane, South East Queensland, Braille House provides to people throughout Queensland and Australia wide.

Features of Braille House include:

  • Library: a free lending library of braille and moon books and braille magazines.
  • Transcribing: producing books and other resources in braille for children and adults, students of all ages, organisations and government departments.
  • Tutoring: tutoring of adults who wish to become touch readers of braille or moon script.

Find Braille House at 507 Ipswich Rd, Annerley QLD 4103 or online at . Contact us on (07) 3848 5257.