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PEOPLE Hilary Lee
Internationally recognised for her work,
Hilary Lee provides a spark of hope for those
with dementia words Heather Zubek images Tony McDonough
s a teenag er, Hilary Lee dreamed
of having a positive impact on the world. Her
inspiration was her Swiss father, Hans Peter
Müller, who worked with UNESCO to help
rebuild people’s lives after the Second World War.
“He g ave me the knowledge and inspiration
that each person can make a profound and lasting
difference in the lives of others,” says the g ently
spoken mother of two.
For 20 years, Hilary’s mission has been to help
people living with dementia. That’s one per cent
of Australia’s population, according to Access
Economics, almost a quarter of a million people.
By mid-century, the number will be in the region
of one million.
There is no cure.
As an occupational therapist, Hilary has become
a passionate and caring voice for people living
in silence with dementia, often stigmatised and
dehumanised in society.
“I grew to love working with people with
dementia because they are so authentic and
vulnerable, and yet there is so much potential
lying dormant in each person that we can
bring out,” she says.
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