Longtime ACON worker, devotee of the arts and beloved partner Jayne Liddy died on December 1, aged 49, from breast cancer.
Born and raised in Bendigo, Liddy joined the ACON team in 2001, following a stint of running her own café and an illustrious arts career, during which she worked for Staging Connections before becoming stage manager for the Bell Shakespeare Company.
Starting as a driver with the Community Support Network, Liddy’s true abilities as a communicator and people person soon came to the fore, and she became a care liaison officer. Working to assist people with dire health problems, Liddy quickly became a favourite among clients. Her ability to connect with people from all backgrounds, and a strong commitment to social justice, stood her in good stead when she moved to ACON’s Alcohol and Other Drugs Program, where she worked as a needle syringe program education officer.
“She always loved working with people, and here was a hub where she could make a difference for people just by being the caring and supportive person she already was,” one friend recalled.
Manager of the Alcohol and Other Drugs Program, and co-worker, Angela Matheson said Liddy was “a superstar with clients”.
“She had endless compassion and patience for people’s stories and needs. A lot of the clients we work with are homeless or pretty disadvantaged, and Jayne was amazing at making connections with anyone. She was incredibly modest and amusing, and was really fantastic.
“Right till the end, we’d get people sending in messages for Jayne, or asking if she needed some DVDs to watch. These were guys who’d be living on the streets, or who didn’t have much, but they just wanted to think of something to offer Jayne because they felt so much for her.”
Liddy is survived by her partner of 30 years, Graeme White. Along with her many friends and relatives, he will remember a woman who loved a good time, and used any excuse to host an elaborate dinner party, sometimes featuring her renowned green curry, but always including in-depth discussion of art, films, literature, and her great love, the theatre.
Liddy’s memorial service was held on December 10.

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