HomeBernie Banton Foundation - Tributes - Julie Bas (...)

Born June 17, 1944
Died September 06, 2011

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Julie Bastian

How do I describe in a few short words, a person who in life, was larger than life itself, and who in death is still very much part of everyone’s life?

Should I talk about her radiant beauty and magnetic appeal, or her kind and generous nature, or the love she freely gave and was returned?

Do I write about her being a very proud mother to three boys, a loving caring daughter, a sibling to one sister and three brothers, an aunt to numerous nieces and nephews, a totally doting nan to ten grand children and one great grandchild – or, selfishly, do I write about Julie being the love of my life, and life partner for the better part of three decades?

Do I talk about her early life, being brought up as an only child by her adoptive parents, Muriel (Pat) and Nick Hansen, in the Melbourne suburb of Northcote, and then as a teenager in Burnie Tasmania? No doubt I should mention her beloved uncle Bill, her mum’s brother who lived with them at Northcote for most of Julie’s formative years. Uncle Bill was her second father as her dad normally worked ‘away’ from Monday to Friday.

Should I tell of her love for horses, and how as kids, Julie and her best friend Roberta would sneak into the local dairy paddock and ride the dairy cart horses? Or perhaps I should speak about her days in Tasmania, attending Burnie High school and her many equestrian pursuits and achievements?

It might be nice to mention how she formed long term friendships when travelling Australia after leaving school, and how those friendships lasted to Julie’s passing.

Perhaps in the interest of accuracy, I should talk about how she met and married Kevin, the father of our three boys, Craig, Scott and Adam, in Adelaide; and how even after their divorce, Julie was still adored by Kevin’s mum Molly – and how Julie, very much in turn, adored Molly (so did I).

I have no doubt I should mention the joy she experienced when we finally tracked down her ‘birth’ family in the late 1980s, and the sorrow of finding out her birth mum, had only some short years beforehand passed away, whilst all the time searching for Julie. I should definitely mention the fulfilment Julie got from knowing she had three brothers and a sister and a host of nieces and nephews; and the sense of completion it gave her; and of the close bond she formed with all four, but in particular her beloved sister Pat.

I am certain it would be remiss of me not to mention Julie’s forthright manner, and zealous approach to getting things done – a no nonsense approach, no doubt fostered by being brought up an only child.

It would also be remiss of me not to mention the loyalty she gave and inspired in all those she encountered.

Should I talk about Julie’s courageous battle with the very rare asbestos caused terminal cancer, peritoneal mesothelioma? I could, but I won’t, as I would prefer Julie’s life be defined by who she was, and how she lived life, not by the cruel disease that ultimately ended her life far too early.

I’ve decided the answer to my original question is, I can’t; as I am way too close, and anything I say will be far too biased. So instead, I am going to allow others to sum Julie up, by including a celebration of life tribute given at Julie’s funeral.



From Manfred Roeschlein and Maureen Griffin

Members of the Frankston Community Health Service, Committee of Management 1985-2000

The fledgling Community Health Centre that Julie joined at the very beginning of its journey was like a little boat heading out to sea - not sure of its destination nor who its passengers would be. There was a Captain on this vessel and many willing crew but also at the helm was Julie – steering, supporting, researching, creating and pitching in anywhere and everywhere.

Not only her mind, but also her heart was in it, because she believed that having a community health service in Frankston was really important. In those early days the idea of Women’s Health was just emerging as a primary health care issue and assisting women in crisis situations was also a crucial part of this work.

For all who visited the Service, Julie was the face of Orwil St, working away at her desk at Reception, smiling and welcoming visitors, her long hair swept up in a bun, dressed in her neat but not too formal attire. She trod that magical line between professional and personal with the clients, staff, committee and all who visited the service.

Something about her calm and steady demeanour said, “It will be OK, we can do this!” - Even when she wasn’t sure herself.

She let us depend on her to keep us on track in the small and larger matters, winding our way through the politics, economics and at times community criticism that was part of the everyday business of the service.

She was the “go to” girl we could trust and gave so generously of her time and energy always.

None of us back then could have imagined the amazing journey this fledgling service would take, how many serious storms it would weather, nor how many people’s lives would be touched, improved and saved, as it reached out to help the community understand how to create healthier lives and assisted them to achieve this.

Julie shone through it all, often with a twinkle in her eye and a good laugh to go with it. Working in community health wasn’t easy – ever – and the Frankston community owes a huge debt of gratitude to this dedicated “quiet achiever” for the comprehensive health services which exist today at the Integrated Health Centre. All those who worked with her benefited greatly from her professional capabilities and experience and also personally from her genuinely warm and friendly nature.

When Maureen visited Julie on the 26th of August, she asked her how all the Health Centre people she knew were going. Although Julie left the job some years ago, she still cared.

She also said how much she loved her home with Rod at Tyabb and how she’d found it hard to decide if it was the right place for them. She said to me, “I sat outside and waited to see if it felt right in my heart. It did.”

Then she said, “Never do anything unless it feels right in your heart.”

Thanks Jules.

You lived it.

All the seeds you’ve planted are grown and bearing fruit – your bountiful harvest is in.


Never moving on - but continually moving forward.

Blessings my darling, may your journey in heaven be as it was in life.


Rod Smith xxxx