The death of mother, grandmother and great-grandmother Clare Nowland one week after she was tasered has shocked the Cooma-Monaro district.
Mrs Nowland, 95, passed away peacefully in hospital just after 7 pm last night (24 May), surrounded by family and loved ones.
Following Mrs Nowland’s death, the family released a statement “to express our profound love and affection for our Mum, Nana and Great Grandmother”.
They thanked “Cooma, the wider region, in fact, the whole country and around the world for the outpouring of support for her”.
Mrs Nowland had been in Cooma Hospital for a week after being tasered by a police officer at her residence, Yallambee Lodge, at around 4:15 am on 17 May, which caused her to fall and fracture her skull.
Mrs Nowland was well respected and appreciated within her community.
She was the matriarch of a large family, with her eight children, Michael, Denis, Bede, Gerard, Jenny, Lesley, Kerry and Gemma, providing Mrs Nowland with many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Mrs Nowland was one of 12 children. She lost her husband, Kenneth Patrick Nowland, early, so she had the task of raising her family alone but within a supportive rural community.
She was a woman of deep faith and was a member of the St Patrick’s Catholic Church family. She was heavily involved with the St Vincent de Paul’s Society, assisting with the setup and running of the Vinnies shop in Cooma.
She also helped people doing it tough, working through Vinnies to help those in need with their day-to-day living expenses and offering support.
Mrs Nowland also volunteered at Sir William Hudson Memorial Centre, helping with assisted feeding at meal times.
She was an active member of the Cooma Golf Club and enjoyed a busy social life.
A person of strong character, a famously celebrated her 85th birthday by going sky-diving.
Clare had many friends due to her welcoming personality.
It was a sad day for her when she had to leave the family home to go into residential care, but Clare accepted her change in circumstances.
While at Yallambee Lodge, she would still attend monthly Mass and enjoyed receiving visitors with whom she would chat, especially about her beloved family.
She was popular with residents and visitors alike, enjoying the company and social interaction.
Her death has brought to a close a well-lived and well-loved life.
Mrs Nowland’s family and the local community will miss a warm and valued individual who did so much for so many.
Trauma counsellors have been on-site at Yallambee Lodge, providing direct support to residents and staff.
Snowy Monaro Regional Council’s Chief Executive Officer Peter Bascomb offered the council’s condolences.
“The family has our deepest sympathies during this profoundly difficult time. We are available to help however and whenever they need,” Mr Bascomb said.
Mayor Narelle Davis described the incident as heartbreaking.
“Our thoughts remain with her and her family at this deeply sad time,” she said.
Member for Monaro Steve Whan has also issued a statement. Over the past week we have all been reminded of what a full life Clare Nowland lived, of her enormous contribution to the Cooma community and her roles as a mother, grandmother and great grandmother”, he said.
“I am sure that Mrs Nowland’s family, friends and many who remember her will have many very happy memories to treasure of her life and the impact she had on theirs.
“This has been a traumatic week for Cooma overall and I would urge everyone that has been touched by this event to focus on coming together as a community to honour Clare and her family as they prepare to farewell her”.