About Me — Lesley Dewar

A backward glance on why I am here

Lesley Dewar in a red top, with her Mum and Dad at his 95th birthday lunch

I am into my new career as a writer here at Medium. Sometimes a backward glance is useful because it reminds us of how we arrived here. Our past experience is invaluable in crafting new stories.

It’s living life full on that makes it richer.

Taking on varied careers, and always building my levels of expertise and knowledge made for a financially rewarding life. With lots of travel in later years.

A single parent to three children with virtually no spousal support, I worked full time. The first woman to sell cars for GMH in Australia, I was deeply involved in the motor industry in Australia for about ten years.

This led to a lifetime love of XU-1 Toranas for my son, who has owned several and has an encyclopedic knowledge of them

I also demanded equal pay for equal work, since I had an unusual skill set in EDP at that time combined with the financial responsibilities of a man. It was a most unusual career for a woman at that time: stock control, Pre-delivery management, leasing.

I moved into car sales because I needed more money than a salary afforded me, even on a man’s wage. Retainers and commissions meant equal pay for equal work in the true sense of the term.

Selling cars and real estate is a one-hit wonder. I wanted more!

After being “salesman of the month” way too many times and refused permission to join the 5% Club for top salesman with GMH, I decided to find a career that recognised my commitment for service and empathy. A career where what I earned was entirely based on my own skills, work, education and commitment.

Leaving car sales and property development, I studied life insurance and became a financial planner. To be the third CFP in Australia was a successful career move and I practiced as a financial planner for 26 years, until I sold my book in 2009.

It was a wonderful life, I travelled overseas every couple of years as well as all over Australia, and to this day some clients still regard me as their friend.

Notwithstanding the fact the State Manager for Norwich Union refused to approve me for MDRT at the end of my first year as an agent for them. His reasons ??

  • this business is no place for women,
  • *you make it look too easy,
  • *you won’t last.

In 1986, I was briefed by the Board of Perth Building Society (later Challenge Bank and now part of Westpac) to create, staff, and manage their new Financial Planning division. A consequence of my submitting two unrequested white papers on “Why A Bank or Building Society Must Have Financial Planning”

Getting Married To The Love of My Life

While I was at the bank, Robbie and I were married on 19th July 1985.

Married for a second time, I supported my invalid husband for 11 years until he died at 65 and a half. We were together for 34 years and Robbie remains the love of my life.

Lesley Dewar with Robbie, her husband. Together for 34 years, he was already retired from the workforce when this was taken. He suffered with emphysema for a very long time.

Taking care of my family has been my major career — up until now.

Children, husband, clients, parents — it’s been a great life but one of service.

My Mum was my best friend in later life, and I supported her for many years until she went into care, at 92 and died at 96. My Dad lived with us for 25 years until he was 97, including a long time after Robbie died in June 2002. He died in care only a few weeks short of his 100th birthday.

I have survived breast cancer and more.
I am enough. It’s my turn now.

One of many collections of family photos which surround me and keep me happy every day.

If you want to join me, use this link. https://medium.com/@lesleydewar/membership

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