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Meet Gary

Meet Gary Jollow, our Dad! Also referred to as Gazza, Uncle, Poppy, Legend and Cyril (...don't ask). Dad is eldest of 5 children, Craig, Mark, Jeff and Linda, and has always been the patriarch of our extended family. He's the person you call if ever you need advice, have an issue or just want a general chit chat. Dad has always put family first which has made our immediate and extended family very close despite living all across Australia - from Perth to Narrabri to Tweed Heads to Sydney. Dad is very close to his own father, who at 91 years old is still chasing ladies around the nursing home! Having such a strong bond with his own father is probably why Dad made such an effort to be an amazing Dad to us, his three kids - Kellie, Paul and Natalie. It definitely wasn't easy with the girls being a constant worry and getting themselves into trouble although Paul made up for it by being the quiet, nice kid. Rounding out our family is Mum, Dad's wife - Vi. Mum is an immigrant from Malta. She came out to Australia with her Mum, Dad and older brother Joe when she was still in Primary School. She met Dad when they worked together and she asked him out 3 times before he finally gave in. They've now been married for over 40 years! Dad was quickly immersed in Maltese culture and although he never learned the language, he did make up his own version from time to time and was a massive hit with his in-laws! 

Dad's not just a family-man, he's a people person! He's been an active member of our local community for years, coaching several softball and soccer teams for Wenty Warratahs, including being club President back in the day! He's guided and coached lots of young people, forming close relationships with their families and making a positive impact to their lives. Wenty Warratahs has been a big part of our lives with all three of us kids representing them in sport. He met his best mate there, Bert Binkhorst (also known as Bertie Beetle), when they coached softball together. Over 30 years later and they're still the best of buddies. The stories we've grown up hearing over the years show that they really are the definition of best friends...always making sure they have each other's back. 

Work-wise, Dad did everything for our family. He worked a range of jobs, including the Commonwealth Bank where he was held up at gun-point as a young man. While progressing his career, Dad was sent to university by his work where he completed his Bachelor and Masters in Business and Commerce, graduating with a specialisation in Human Resources. During this time, Dad did all that he could to provide for our family including working nights and weekends vaccuuming big auditoriums for some extra money. Dad's dedication led him to have a wonderful career, eventually working with an organisation called ITT Flygt (which changed their name about 100 times...most recently known as Xylem) where he travelled all over the world. Dad was very similar at work to how he was at home, he could but harsh but he was always fair....and extremely funny. Although holding the title of HR Director for Asia Pacific for the organisation when he retired, Dad always treated everyone in the business the same - it didn't matter if they were working in warehouse or if they were Managing Director or CEO. It's because of this, Dad made lots of lifelong friends from work. 

Fast-forward to February 2018. Dad was playing lawn bowls...being the joker he was, he took his turn to bowl but didn't have anything in his hand. It wasn't until he collapsed that his teammates knew something was wrong. Dad had a massive stroke which affected the left-side of his brain, leaving him right-side paralysed, unable to communicate or really understand. The first few weeks after the stroke were really could our Dad go from a functioning person to someone who can't do anything for himself? We did everything we possibly could to learn more about stroke - reading books, watching documentaries, contacting experts from Australian and international universities, speaking (mostly arguing) with doctors but we soon realised that there wasn't much we could do to 'reverse' what happened to Dad...we just had to try and give him the best life we possibly could. With countless hours of phsyio, occupational therapy and speech therapy, Dad was able to gain some function back. He can now feed himself and say a few words (yes, no, Jesus Christ and his favourite...the 'f' word) although most of the time it doesn't really make sense. After over a year of being cared for at home, Dad had another stroke and is now in care at a local nursing home. It's been hard to have to put our hero, our Dad, in a nursing home at the age of 68 but unfortunately this was the only way to guarantee he would receive the care and attention he needs.

Before Dad had a stroke, we had no idea how common it is, the impact on families, all of the work that goes into recovery and how harshly affected an individual could be. That's why we're Striding 4 Stroke. We want to help other families that may experience a loved-one having a stroke and do what we can to raise awareness. 

We love our Dad so most of the people that get to meet him. And now hopefully after reading this you do too. With that said, please donate if you can on behalf of our Dad, the legend, Gary Jollow. 

This November, I’m taking part in Stroke Foundation’s Stride4Stroke to help prevent, treat and beat stroke!

Sadly, 1 in 4 people will have a stroke in their lifetime.

Stroke attacks the brain- the human control centre, changing lives in an instant. The impact of stroke can be devastating for the individual and the family. But stroke’s impact doesn’t need to be this great, research indicates that around 80 percent of strokes are preventable.

So, we need your help to Fight Stroke. It’s going to be a challenge, but it’s nothing compared to those who are impacted by stroke. Please sponsor our team today to support us and together we can Fight Stroke!

Your donation will help the Stroke Foundation support those affected right now and fund research to help prevent stroke, save lives and enhance recovery. Thank you.

Thank you to our Sponsors


Xylem Water Solutions

Thank you for reaching out and allowing us to contribute. It has been our pleasure to have worked along side Gary, and to call him friend.


Maz, Emilee, Corey, Cam, Bert And Olga

We love you all so much. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️


David, Kellie & Kids



Craig And Jill Jollow

Great job everyone,


Wilma, Daniel, Ava, Amelia And Zara

We are all behind you 100%❤️❤️❤️❤️


Richard Buckwell

Go Team Jollow !


Cameron Bailey



Well done Nat - although you need to get moving !


Yasmin & Michael Roberts

This is awesome!! Love you❤❤


Ricky Joseph

Good luck



Good on you all. Such a great idea


Anne Boyton

Gary is in our thoughts and prayers every day. It’s amazing to see you so positive and supportive. A good lesson for us all. Great idea Team Jollow. Xxxxxx


Dean Hennessey


Colleen Jollow

Well done Natalie for taking positive steps. Proud to be part of your family xx


Martin Day

Good on ya Nat!


Murray Coble

agree, way to common and all types at risk , have a mate my age, triathlete had two in early 50s, fortunately recovered. Great cause


Danni And James Maxwell

Love you x


Greg Morrissey

great cause and good luck on the walk


Kerrie Howard

Beautiful story about your Dad Nat, wishing you and your family all the very best for the walk.


Margaret And Barry


Debbie Prasad

Nat, you’re an absolute gem, all the best💖


Kari Arnison

Nat, Good luck in reaching your goal! It's a great cause and a very touching story about your lovely Dad. Kari


Maria Lakis



Claire Banyard


Stefania Dias



You're a little ray of sunshine. Big love x


Violet Jollow



Nicholas Snowden

Good luck!


Stephanie Hukins

What a sad yet beautiful story. We lost an ex work colleague to stroke this year and he wasn’t even 45... walk hard with our support Nat!


Carol Anastassi


Ray Macken

Good luck Nat, stride on!


Stephen Mather


Sheree Findlay

From the Findlay Family


Simon Doyle


Nicholas Goldsmith

Great cause Nat. Stay strong.


Nathan Kelly

Very touching to hear your story. All the best Nat and Family.


Chris Boyd

Awesome cause Nat. Hope this helps in some way


Ray David

Burn some rubber!


Genevieve V

Good on you Natalie.


Kirsti Proctor


Allison Slee

Loads and loads of love xx


Naveena Krishnan


Luke Facchetti


Eva And Zac Jollow

Way to go team Jollow


Penny Huynh

Go you good things!


Ben Brown

Go Nat, a great cause, doing your dad and family proud. She can do it !!!


Melissa Stoffberg

Amazing work hun and such a great cause xox


Kimmy Nguyen

Stay strong Nat 💛


Karen Carney

Great cause. Thanks for sharing your personal story.



Lots of love x


Michelle Osborn

xxx happy to help get you over the 500kms neighbor xxx


Jack Miller

Inspirational PJ!


Maria Nguyen

Goooo Nat!! So proud of you! Your strength and determination is such an inspiration. Thanks for sharing your story with us and good luck with the challenge xoxo


Joe Axisa


Fay Huynh


Sebastian Mullins


Natalie Jollow


Christina Huynh

Go jellyton, love you lots!!


Kristie, Dom And Airlie

Much love guys!!! Kristie, Dom and Airlie


Victoria Avery

Go Paul, will be thinking of you. From Vicki, her crazy running husband and the kids xx


Benjamin Jokinen


Melissa Zahra


Julie Soon

What a great cause!


Sarah Whitau

Go Nat ... great cause am so proud of you, walk hard babe xx


Monique Batterham

Great cause, I have a vivid memory of sitting next to my Oma and mum when Oma went funny and fell off her chair and mum sent me running next door to my uncle's to tell them Oma was having a stroke.


Kelly Pearson


Courtney Aldridge


Jasmine Delvillar

Thanks for showing such courage, sharing your story and raising awareness


Punnada Supaarmorakul


George Montealegre

Well Done team Jollow. Congratulations


Peter C



Go you superstar x


Denise Grundig


Magda B

I admire your strength, positivity and determination.


Katrina Woods

Thanks for sharing. Some of my best memories as a kid being coached by Gary and Bert. All the best to the whole family. Xx



A great initiative. Wishing your family well.


Tiffany Toth


Jenna Dacic

Go get em Paul.....You got this!


Danielle Huynh

All the very best to this amazing family! ❤ go get em 💪


Renee Forbes


Marc Bowen

Go Jollow’s. Go Gazza!


Di Walker


Steven Birtwistle


Oli Coombs


Emily Kneipp

It’s not much! But Ill donate my Sunday coffee! ❤️❤️❤️