Vale Jeanette Furmedge

On behalf of all at Knoxbrooke, we would like to acknowledge Jeanette Furmedge, who passed away peacefully Wednesday 14 February.

Knoxbrooke has been privileged to have had the support of Jeanette for well over 40 years. Jeanette first encountered Knoxbrooke when she enrolled her daughter, Kathryn at age 2, into what was then the only local special school in the area. Not one to stand on the side lines, Jeanette quickly became involved with Knoxbrooke in many ways over the years including as volunteer, staff member, manager, Director and even President of Knoxbrooke (1989-1990).

During Jeanette’s long association with Knoxbrooke, she oversaw so much including the mothers club, the creation of the worm farm called “Wrigglers Delight”, the pot washing business, the cleaning business, the creation of Knoxbrooke Industries and the start of the Adult Training and Support Service. Jeanette was also instrumental in sorting and compiling Knoxbrooke’s history for the 50th anniversary book, which was a huge project! The creation of what is today Yarra View & Bushland Flora Nurseries was also overseen by Jeanette and humbly started its life on unused land on Burwood Highway, growing fuchsias for the farmers market on weekends. Jeannette was a part of moving the nursery to The Patch and then ultimately to York Road. The purchase of Bushland Flora had the support of Jeanette as Director. Jeanette was always a proponent of progress and supported new Knoxbrooke initiatives where they would bring about positive change for people with a disability.

Jeanette was a mainstay Board member from 1986 until 2021 when she retired from the Board. It is safe to say there is not much at Knoxbrooke that does not have Jeanette’s DNA on it. Throughout all this time, Jeanette was always generous, warm and positive, guiding and assisting others to do their best, in whatever endeavour they may be pursuing. What distinguished Jeanette was her willingness to take action where it mattered and be brave in doing so.

Knoxbrooke would not be what it is today without Jeanette which is why we admire her so. It is due to Jeanette’s long association with Knoxbrooke and a desire to recognise Jeanette that the Board created the perpetual Jeanette Furmedge Community Award in 2022. We are pleased that Jeanette’s contribution to Knoxbrooke will continue to be honoured through this Award.

Knoxbrooke Board & Staff (both past and Present)