Smith DJ

Interviewee: Mrs Dorothy June Smith
Date of Birth: 1951
Interviewer: Meryl Gardiner
Date of Interview: 27 August 2018
Synopsis: Charlotte Whincup
BOHG No: 2018-010
Total Length: 35 minutes

After suffering the loss of two very close people in her life to cancer, her husband and her mother, within a few years of each other, Dot Smith had the courage and vision to set up Australia’s first cancer care centre called Dot’s Place in Bunbury, WA. She did this with the help of her bank manager and their philanthropic division, Suzanne Rooney, CEO of the Cancer Council (WA) and more importantly her second husband Alan, and her children.

At Dot’s Place, Bunbury and South West WA residents who are suffering the insidious disease called cancer, and their family members, can access such services as “Look Good … Feel Better” program, wig and turban fitting, financial counselling and cooking classes, without the need of travelling the long and tiring distances to Perth.
Meryl Gardiner of the Bunbury Oral History Group had the pleasure of sitting down with Dot, at Dot’s Place, a beautiful and charming house built in about 1930s in Forrest Avenue, originally owned by the Payton family, who were and are a well-known family in the South West. Dot describes how the house was renovated and why the centre was set up in October 2010, based on a UK initiative called Maggie’s Centre.

This inspiring story is of a woman who has helped others after seeing a need for cancer sufferers from country regions not being able to access services that are common place in the cities. However, Dot hasn’t just stopped at one Dot’s Place! She has worked on the positive reactions to the services on offer in Bunbury and the required infrastructure allowing the Cancer Council to operate from, and two years ago she opened up another Dot’s Place just north of Mandurah.

Dot’s Place has been the model for other centres that have since opened up in Australia.

The Bunbury Oral History Group wish Dot and the Cancer Council all the best in continuing to assist those in need.

Obtaining an interview CD

If you would like to have one of our interviews, kindly please complete the form.

We will ask for a donation to cover our costs. This keeps the group going so, if you can give more than the $15 minimum ($20 if posted), we’ll appreciate it.

Once we have your donation we will make the CD available.

Bank Details

BSB: 036-122
Account No: 233851

Other interviews

Higgins M

Interviewee: Miss Marjorie Higgins Date of Birth: 26 February 1916 Interviewer: Diana Terry Date of Interview: 21 May 1986 Date of Death:

Read more

Clarke MC

Interviewee: Mrs Marjorie Cecil Clarke (nee Clifton) Date of Birth: 22 March 1894 Interviewer : J J Drennan Date of Interview: 1985

Read more

Poad WV

Interviewee: Mrs Wilhelmina Victoria Poad (nee Garbett) Date of Birth: 10 September 1890 Interviewer : Pauline Payne Date of Interview: 6 June

Read more