If you don't use it, you lose it is the philosophy to living for a distinguished Bundaberg lady who turns 90 in March.
“You have to get up, get dressed and get out," Nina Higgins said. “Life is what you make it. If a negative thought comes to mind always look for a positive one.”
Nina has made a substantial contribution to the community and is a key voice for people from all walks of life.
Nina was a teacher and her husband Doug, also was a teacher and they raised six sons.
“I had hoped for a girl with my sixth child and my philosophy was not to teach when I had babies,’’ she said.
Nina was posted to Bundaberg State High’s Home Economics Department, in 1968, also making wedding dresses and cakes, later became senior mistress and was deputy principal for 15 years. For the last six months of her career she was acting principal.
After retirement she continued to be active as president of Bundaberg University of the Third Age, a role relished for 15 years. It promotes learning for personal well-being, something Nina has spent her life doing.
What is the secret to reaching 90?
“Being healthy and active is a great stimulus. I’m not one to walk miles but I keep active being involved in the community.”
One sporting activity she loved was netball and her 16 years with school teams culminated in a Life Membership. Nina remains active as a keen gardener.
A co-ordinator of the Pageant of Lights Parade she also was a key organiser of Seniors' Week activities.
Nina is no stranger to awards named Bundaberg Citizen of Year in 2003 and 10 years later received the prestigious Order of Australia Medal. With her boys in the scouting movement, she also gained its highest award.
But she does not do things for recognition.
And what next? Nina is involved in Our Glad – helping create a memorial bursary in honour of soprano legend Gladys Moncrieff, to give young people the opportunity to be trained in the theatrical art.
She can’t sing but does love listening to others.
“We all have something special to give others.’’
And Nina’s is her generosity in giving her time.