A tribute to Francis

Much loved community member, Frances Collins’ trademark red lipstick brought her smile to life.

23 May 2023

“I made a promise to myself to get up, put my lipstick on and go out to buy my coffee each morning,” Frances said in 2021, when she was interviewed for REALM magazine. 

“I bump into many people when I’m walking – some may nod, others smile or stop for a chat. Most of the friendships I’ve formed here started that way, on my walks or through our great bookclub.”

The mother of five, grandmother of five, and much-loved resident of Hamilton Reach passed away on Australia Day after a long battle with cancer.

Her loss has reverberated through her close friendship circles in the community, from her beloved book club to her many friends at Hamilton Espresso, and the Frasers Property Australia team.

A love of living near water and exploring Brisbane by City Cat saw Frances make the move to Atria South at Hamilton Reach in 2017. 

Her daughter Philippa describes the decision as ‘life changing’.

"In Hamilton Reach, Mum found her people. Her community,” Phillipa said.

“She would always talk about how peaceful and quiet it was. She described it as a place of tranquillity, and she felt that the rest of the community really valued that as well. 

Phillipa said the local book club, and the friends she made, were very special to Frances.

“What Mum learned at Hamilton Reach is that if you’re willing to give a little, the community gives back in spades,” she said.

“The community spirit is all around you, it’s ready and waiting. You don’t get that everywhere.”

Phillipa said her mother’s love of the area extended to her favourite high street, Racecourse Road.

“Mum knew so many of the retailers,” she said. “The sense of community is very strong on Racecourse Road. It’s a different world. The people value your custom, it’s more personal than the big shopping centres, and Mum treasured those connections.”

Marion Allard, Community Development Manager at Frasers Property Australia, said she was fortunate to count Frances as a friend.

“Frances knew how to connect with people,” Marion said.“She had a special way of making you feel at the centre of her world when you were with her and she was incredibly generous with her time, her humour, and her stories. 

“Her resilience also stood out to me. Not many people knew Frances was unwell. She channelled her own battle with cancer into community-focused events to raise funds for medical research through the annual Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea event.

“It’s a legacy we will continue in her honour.”

Over the past two years, the fundraising event at Hamilton Espresso has raised more than $5,100. 

Hamilton Espresso founder and owner, Shaun Witute, was a close friend to Frances and will once again host the event this year. 

There will, however, be one notable absence who will be dearly missed.

In her Frances Collins’ own words:

“I have been absolutely bowled over by everything that happens here. The whole lifestyle is beautiful, and the people are very caring and community minded. Everybody pulls together to help. It really is quite unique.” 

Click here for more information about about this year's Biggest Morning Tea at Hamilton

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