Celebrating Suncare Customer Michael

Celebrating Suncare Customer Michael

Suncare customer Michael enjoys domestic assistance and gardening support so he can spend more time at his potter’s wheel, and says “when we have a concern, Suncare comes up with a solution.”

“All the Suncare staff are so supportive and marvellous. We have domestic assistance and a wonderful Suncare gardener – he always finishes his jobs so professionally and quickly, he asks for extra chores to fill his time allocation! We are thrilled with Suncare.”

Michael knows all about solutions, as his adventurous life has always focused on supporting others. Born in 1942, Michael Lean remembers his mum’s tears of joy on VPDay. Growing up in Newcastle, NSW, Michael loved cadets and his hobbies included swimming and collecting stamps. After a serious car accident in his early 20’s, Michael re-evaluated his future and moved to Papua New Guinea for an intensive 6-month training course to become a schoolteacher.

His early career pioneered educational change. Posted to the Anglican Mission Station at Eroro, Michael spent most of his time with the local population, learning their fishing tricks and their way of life. After 10 years of teaching, he became Maths Supervisor for the region, often walking for hours from one rural school to another. At the time, only about 20% of the local children continued to Secondary School. Michael was involved in creating the Skulanka program, designed to encourage Secondary students to stay in their communities and benefit from learned skills of budgeting, costing crop sales and other practical competences. He was also a serving Local PNG Government Councillor.

When PNG gained independence, Michael came back to Australia to retain his Australian passport, working at the Kelvin Grove Teachers College in his field of interest, photography. In the Audio-visual/production Department of the College, Michael and colleagues pioneered the use of satellite television for teaching in outlying areas. With the College amalgamating to become the Qld University of Technology (QUT), Michael then spent 16 years as Copyright Officer, both for QUT and Griffith University, often giving papers at Conferences. For ten years, both Michael and his partner, Jude were members of the SES and First Responders for Queensland Ambulance in Woodgate.

After retirement in 2003 he continued part-time as a mediator until 2020 and Michael still serves as a Justice of the Peace today, a service he has undertaken for the past 45 years! Suncare customer Michael attributes his varied and wonderful life to the love and care of Jude, his partner of over 35 years. “I have accomplished much thanks to Jude”, says Michael. 

Michael and Jude

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