|Type of person|| Individual
Helena was born in London, to parents who had emigrated from Ireland, in 1957. They moved to Leicester soon after, before emigrating once again – to South Australia – nine years later.
The family lived in Parafield Gardens for some years, before moving to Dublin on the Adelaide Plains. Helena studied at Balaklava High School for three years, before another move saw the family living at Gawler River.
After completing her secondary education at Gawler High School in 1973, Helena commenced employment as a receptionist at a local doctor’s surgery. In 1976 she married John Dawkins of Gawler River and commenced a new position as an executive assistant at Kaiser Stuhl Co-operative Wines at Nuriootpa. She also assisted John on the family farm. Her first child, Leah was born in 1978. In the early 1980’s Helena commenced more than a decade of service with the Elizabeth CIB as a Police Auxiliary. In 1983 Thomas was born.
Helena had been involved in sport for most of her life and was a very keen softballer. She was involved heavily in the establishment of the Gawler & District Softball Association, as the first secretary and has filled many other roles at club and association level. She is a Life Member of both the G&DSA & Giants Softball Club. In the mid 1990’s Helena left SAPOL & took up a position as electorate officer with Ivan Venning, State Member for Schubert. She has remained in this role, either full or part-time, for all but three years since.
She entered Local Government in 2000 as an Area Councillor for the Town of Gawler and served five years as Deputy Mayor, before becoming Gawler’s first female Mayor for much of 2006. During her time in Local Government she also served on the board of NAWMA. Helena was the inaugural chair of the Gawler Health Foundation and has been involved with Gawler Masters Softball for about two decades.
In recent years she has become a Civil Marriage Celebrant. She thoroughly enjoys spending time with her two grandchildren.