Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Our local Treasures

By Olivia Duffey

The 2019 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll celebrates rural women volunteers, including nine from Deniliquin.

Deniliquin’s 2019 Hidden Treasures nominees are Judith Bond, Carol David, Judy Doddridge, Gillian Fraser, Margaret Jefferies, Kay Smith, Margaret Stanworth, Maureen Strutt and Denise Thomas.

Mrs Strutt said the nomination came as a surprise for all the volunteers, but said it was lovely to be recognised for the work they do.

‘‘It is an honour to be on this year’s Hidden Treasures Honour Roll and something that makes one feel proud,’’ she said.

‘‘I think it is important to acknowledge and celebrate volunteers everywhere because they work hard; a lot of facilities, activities and services could not function without them.

‘‘Volunteering is very humbling and something you need to have a passion for, so it is great to see these wonderful women being celebrated for their tireless work and commitment  to the local community.

‘‘And while I think recognition should be given where it is due, I am also often surprised when it is given to me so I am grateful for the acknowledgment of my work.’’

All of the volunteers who have been recognised help out at the Deniliquin Visitor Information Centre, but for some this is only part of their community commitment.

Edward River Council Mayor Norm Brennan said he was thrilled so many of the Visitor Information Centre volunteers had been acknowledged.

‘‘To have nine volunteers from Deniliquin represented on the list of 78 nominees from across New South Wales is incredible, and it really highlights the important role volunteers play in our local community,’’ he said.

‘‘Some of our volunteers have provided more than 20 years of service, which just goes to show how dedicated these ladies are.

‘‘Without the commitment and generosity of these volunteers it wouldn’t be possible to operate our Visitor Information Centre.’’

The announcement of the Hidden Treasures Honour Roll was a highlight of the 27th Rural Women’s Gathering in Walcha on Saturday, and made by Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women Bronnie Taylor.
 

Nominee citations:

Judy Bond – In between her travels with husband Frank, Judy volunteers each Monday at the Deniliquin Visitor Information Centre. As an experienced caravanner she provides visitors with wonderful insight into the best spots to camp, eat and experience during their stay. Judy is a very active member of the community and also volunteers at other community organisations such as Lions Club.

Carol David – Carol volunteers each Monday at the Deniliquin Visitor Information Centre, where she warmly welcomes each visitor into the centre and helps promote the town and its many attractions. Carol’s enthusiasm and diverse local knowledge make her a valued member of the team. She has been volunteering at the centre for 10 years.

Judy Doddridge – After retiring in 2008, Judy was able to increase her involvement in the community. She is the secretary of the Deniliquin Garden Club, secretary of St Paul’s Anglican Church and visits Navorina nursing home each Thursday afternoon with a small group of singers to entertain the residents. Judy volunteers each Wednesday at the Deniliquin Visitor Information Centre. She is renowned for her kind nature and diverse local knowledge. She had been a volunteer at the centre for 10 years.

Gillian Fraser – With career experience as an assistant, nanny, administration officer, art gallery manager and horse stable assistant, Gillian brings a range of skills to the team of volunteers at the Deniliquin Visitor Information Centre.  She is renowned for her strong work ethic at the centre.

Margaret Jefferies – Margaret’s community work started early, when she was a volunteer of the Napier Special School, which led to part-time employment as a special teacher’s aide at Deniliquin South Public School and Deniliquin High School. She then went on to manage a community tourism and accommodation facility with her husband. It lent itself nicely to a new role at the Deniliquin Visitor Information Centre. Margaret is also a co-curator of the project to commemorate the No. 7 Service Flying Training School which operated from Deniliquin Airport during World War II.

Kay Smith – Kay volunteers each Wednesday at the Deniliquin Visitor Information Centre, where she warmly welcomes each visitor into the centre and helps promote the town and its many attractions. Kay’s vibrant personality and stories make her a valued member of the team.  Kay has also been a dedicated volunteer for the Deniliquin Pastoral & Agricultural Society since coming to Deniliquin.

Margaret Stanworth – Margaret volunteers each Tuesday at the Deniliquin Visitor Information Centre and is known for her attention to detail and extensive knowledge of the local area.

Maureen Strutt – Since retiring from nursing in 2015, Maureen gives many hours of her time each week as a volunteer in the Deniliquin community. She dedicates at least seven hours each week at the Deniliquin Visitor Information Centre. She also spends two afternoons a week at the Orana Aged Care Hostel and is also a founding member of its newly established Orana Auxiliary. Maureen is also president of the Meals on Wheels Committee and she delivers Meals on Wheels in Deniliquin twice a month.

Denise Thomas – Volunteer work for Denise was initially through school P&C committees. In later years she was a member of the inaugural committee for the Deni Ute Muster, serving two terms as president. Before becoming a dedicated volunteer at the Deniliquin Visitor Information Centre, Denise worked at the centre for 18 years. Denise is also a co-curator of the project to commemorate the No. 7 Service Flying Training School which operated from Deniliquin Airport during World War II.