08 March 2024

Honouring Rosa and others like her, this International Women's Day

Celebrating the exceptional women who make Estia Health a vibrant community, including our residents. Discover how Rosa's compassion and unwavering spirit created a legacy that continues to inspire generations.


Background and early life

Rosa lived in the heart of a small Spanish village called Lusa. Born in 1932, Rosa was raised in a close-knit community where everyone knew each other. Life in Spain during those years was marked by hardship, especially for young women like Rosa. Opportunities were scarce, and poverty cast a shadow over the dreams of many.

But Rosa was no ordinary woman. She had a fire in her belly and a dream in her heart. So, when the opportunity arose to move to Australia in 1960, she didn't hesitate. With her cousin by her side, Rosa packed her bags and set off on a grand adventure.

Journey to Australia

Rosa had saved every penny earned from her days making raincoats and working in a café, cherishing each coin as a stepping stone towards a brighter future. With courage as her compass, Rosa boarded a plane bound for the distant shores of Australia, leaving behind the familiar comforts of home in pursuit of the unknown.


However, fate had a different plan in store for Rosa upon her arrival, Rosa was stricken by illness and was battling an infection. She found herself confined to a hospital bed for six long months, unable to speak the language of her new homeland. But Rosa's spirit remained unbroken, her resilience unwavering in the face of adversity forged ahead of the challenges that lay before her.


Professional life

Rosa found work as a commercial cleaner, eventually rising to the manager position, a testament to her unwavering work ethic and determination. Yet, her journey was not easy, with a fierce determination burning within her, Rosa stood up not only for herself but for others who faced injustices. Her voice became a beacon of hope for those who dared to dream.

In 1975, Rosa's story took on a new chapter as she opened her heart and home to those in need. When the winds of war swept through East Timor, displacing countless families, Rosa offered sanctuary to the weary travellers seeking refuge. Her house in Paddington, in Sydney NSW, became a haven for hundreds of families. With unwavering compassion, Rosa extended a helping hand to those who had lost everything, offering them not just shelter but a chance to rebuild their lives. She provided employment, support, and above all, a sense of belonging, nurturing a community that transcended borders and cultures.

Later in life

Together with her husband, Rosa became a pillar of strength within the Portuguese and Spanish Community Club, laying the foundation for a legacy.

In the twilight of her years, Rosa shares her insights with the generations that follow, offering a guiding light to those who dare to dream of a better tomorrow.

During the interview, when asked about advice for young women, Rosa leaned forward, her eyes reflecting a lifetime of wisdom. "Be strong," she began, her words steady and resolute. "Don't let anyone step on you. You are in control of your life. Do whatever you want, be free as long as you are respecting and good to people."

And Rosa, looking back on your life, what are you most proud of, and what lessons have you learned along the way? “I have learned to be independent, I have learned to be a strong woman.”

Thank you Rosa for your courage. Your story continues to inspire us all.