Lifestyle

Daring Audrey dives into the high life at age 80

Free from the roar of the wind, Audrey Gwillim enjoys the peaceful part of skydiving as she floats to earth.
Free from the roar of the wind, Audrey Gwillim enjoys the peaceful part of skydiving as she floats to earth. Ramblers Skydiving

AUDREY Gwillim did not expect anyone to believe her when she undertook to go skydiving for her 80th birthday.

She did not really believe it herself.

"I didn't think I'd live this long," she explained.

"It started as a joke when I was 60.

"My daughter asked what I wanted to do when I turned 80.

"I said, 'Skydiving' and they said, 'That'd be Mum.'

"Nobody else in my family line has lived long enough to do anything for their 80th.

"Both my parents died at 73, my grandparents earlier.

"My birthday was on January 21, but then came the wind and rain and the flooding - so I chickened out."

Mrs Gwillim is one of those many people whose lives would have been very different had they not fallen in love and raised a family.

"You're given other opportunities and you take them."

And Mrs Gwillim certainly did that, raising a family with all the single minded enthusiasm she could muster.

So enthusiastic was she that it is almost impossible to keep up with her breeding success.

"I think there's 15 grandchildren and I think 10-and-a-half great-grandchildren.

"One's still on the way," she explained.

Her first big plunge was coming to Australia with her parents in 1954.

And she is glad about that big step in her life as well.

It was the family she raised here that inspired her to take that other big step, out into nothing from the hatch of a perfectly good aeroplane.

"It was fantastic," she said, "Exactly as I expected.

"A grandson did it earlier and I saw his video.

"I'd like to do it again some time, because it's over so quickly you can't remember how you felt.

"It didn't worry me one bit, but I couldn't sleep that night."

Relaxation training gave her some handy coping skills for the adventure.

"I should have picked scuba diving probably.

"I told them I'd do it again for my 90th, but I've still got to do white water rafting."

Gympie Times

Topics:  adventure, birthday, editors picks, skydiving



Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Calm weather with up to two-metre swells at Tweed

Waves might look like this.

Surf conditions for the beach this weekend.

Feast of street food trucks into Harbour

FEAST FOR FOODIES: Mat Whalley, Kat Creasey, Chico Green and Trevor Braga from Food Kartel and Destination Tweed CEO Bill Tatchell are looking forward to the Tweed Food Truck Extravaganza.

Food Trucks will descend on Tweed Heads for a street food fiesta

Upmarket beach townhouse

Real Estate: 4/45 Kingscliff Street, Kingscliff NSW.

Take a look inside this stylish Kingscliff townhouse conversion

Latest deals and offers


British family bashed in Thailand

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Ben Hunt wary of Sharks Halfback

Ben Hunt of the Broncos looks to pass during the round 23 NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Suncorp Stadium.

Ben Hunt talks about Cronulla's Chad Townsend.

Broncos prepare for Sharks

Defensive training session at the Broncos

Tough defensive session in preparation for Sharks game.

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

VIDEO: Art Deco fan pays $835,000 for Imperial Hotel

No Caption

Iconic "Impy" sold at a bargan price to bidder who loves Art Deco.

RBA warns of future apartment oversupply

Toowoomba: Crest Apartments and Burke & Wills, Ruthven Street ( view from Neil Street) Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

RBA says oversupply of apartments poses risk to household finances