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Una Sawtell

Born 1921, age 101

“Enjoy life, and do what you want – you have to do what makes you happy.”

Meeting Una, you’ll notice her friendly smile, cheeky sense of humour, and her contented nature about the life she has lived – “I love my life, and I’m happy to go when the time comes – you can’t live forever.”

Una was born in Yellow Rock, on a farm on top of the mountain where she spent her childhood. She grew up with four brothers and three sisters and is the youngest of their large family.

As a child, Una worked with her father on his dairy farm, milking cows, picking vegetables, and helping wherever else she was needed. She would wake up early to help with the farm work before walking to school, often needing to eat breakfast on her way to ensure she had enough time. She worked on the farm with her family until she married.

Una claims her greatest achievement in life is meeting her husband Eric, and getting married when she was 22 years old. Together, they had three children, welcomed many grandchildren and great-grandchildren into their family.

Unfortunately, Eric passed away 35 years ago after a battle with cancer. Una never looked for anybody else, as the love she shared with Eric had been enough for her. One of Una’s favourite places she has travelled to – and the furthest she has travelled from home – is Perth, soon after her husband passed away. Una and her daughter caught the train to Perth together, and said they absolutely loved the scenery they experienced while on the train – which you just don’t get when you fly.


However, Una wouldn’t describe herself as a traveller, and says she loves to be at home, and enjoys her own company. She has lots of hobbies, but particularly enjoys knitting and gardening – her vegetable garden is reminiscent of her days working on the farm.

She is quite content with how she has lived, and is very happy with the things she has been able to do and experience. She said that she has always been good to the people around her, and loves her life now.

Una has loved living at Warrigal Albion Park Rail for the past few years, particularly as she can maintain her independence while still having extra support from the Warrigal community around her. She particularly enjoys going on social bus trips, and visiting different places on their days out.

Una believes it is especially important to keep your mind and body active as you age, claiming that the secret to living past 100 is hard work. But, you also have to enjoy your life, and do what you want to do.

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