Honouree Julene Banks
Losing Sarah was a turning point in my life. She helped me to realise how fragile life is and how important it is to live every day with meaning.
Julene Doris Banks
Certificate and Badge of Honour
When personal tragedy changed Mrs. Julene Doris Banks' life, she realised that many people face similar situations and that she could help them. Thoughts became action and she has never looked back.
Her work in the community is why this former Crown Counsel is being honoured with Certificate and Badge of Honour this New Year. She has made a difference, especially in the lives of women, the elderly and children in the community.
In 1997, Julene took a leave of absence from the Legal Department, intending to be a stay-at-home mom for a while to care for her soon-to-be-born baby. But her daughter was stillborn and she could only mourn her loss. "Losing Sarah was a turning point in my life," recalls Julene. "She helped me to realise how fragile life is and how important it is to live every day with meaning."
The outpouring of support she received inspired her to turn to the Littlest Angel Support Group (now under Our Angels Foundation) to help other women cope with pre-natal loss. More than a decade later, she continues to counsel as needed, enabling people to understand that grieving is a necessary and sometimes lengthy process.
One of seven children and part of a large extended family, Julene appreciates her relatives. Watching loved ones deteriorate due to incapacitating illness has also reinforced her deep commitment both to family and to the community.
Julene believes that local care-giving, especially of the elderly and the disabled, is an area that definitely needs to be strengthened. She further believes that care-givers can experience burn out and may need nurturing themselves. As with many beliefs, hers are founded on personal experience.
An active member of the John Gray Memorial Church in West Bay, Julene now works with the Women's Fellowship to ensure elderly congregation members are not neglected.
Once monthly, she is involved in getting senior citizens to meet and socialise to reinforce their importance and connectivity within the community. Home visits, occasional tea parties and sightseeing trips are also important items on the agenda.
Practising law from home, she again focuses on the elderly, advising them on estate planning. In consequence, she has come to believe that both the Wills Law and the Succession Law need updating. She also prefers a more conciliatory approach in the justice system.
Children's welfare and empowerment are also important to Julene. With husband Loxley, she has fostered children over the years and now privately assists with supporting a child in need.
This CI Law School alumnus and former Deputy Clerk of the Courts helped craft the Children's Law (1995) and still deals with the Youth Justice Law through occasional Juvenile Court work. She is involved in youth programmes that reinforce positive behaviour.
And her contributions have extended to areas such as financial services, for she also worked on creating the Monetary Authority Law and went on to serve on the authority's board for a number of years.
In addition, Julene helped to create and implement the National Drugs Council (NDC) Law and was NDC chairperson for three years. She has also been actively involved with planning review and hopes that environmental impact assessments will become mandatory. She is a life member of the National Trust.
As versatile as she is talented, Julene has clearly found her niche and her plan is to continue serving her community in all the ways she knows.
For further information contact: Wosila Rochester