CAROLE Broadhead has been rewarded for her dedication to helping others in need.
Ms Broadhead, of Bermagui, has received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) as part of the Australia Day Honours List.
She was recognised for her “service to the Sapphire Coast community and to charitable organisations”.
Ms Broadhead said she was shocked to receive the OAM.
“You just don’t expect to get something like that – it’s not what you do it for,” she said.
“It was a fun time to be involved in these things.”
“These things” covers a broad range of community groups and projects in the Bega Valley.
Ms Broadhead was recognised for her work with people with a disability.
From 1978-90, Ms Broadhead was a manager and volunteer at Tulgeen Disability Services in Bega.
Through that work, she met her husband Bill.
One of the couple’s proudest achievements at Tulgeen occurred in the mid 1980s, following the release of the Richmond report.
Ms Broadhead said the report’s findings led to people with a disability who had mental health issues “coming out of institutions and assimilating into towns”.
Among those towns was Bega.
“These people with mental health issues were institutionalised into the wrong place,” Ms Broadhead said.
“We took one of the first lots [of people released] in Bega – it was the right thing to do.”
Ms Broadhead said she loved working at Tulgeen.
“Bega is one of the most amazing towns at accepting people with a disability,” she said.
“It’s such a warm community.
“The Tulgeen board didn’t know that I would have gone to work without pay – it was just so much fun,” Ms Broadhead said with a smile.
Bill and Carole Broadhead were founding members of the Sapphire Coast Producers Association.
Ms Broadhead has been a member for more than 20 years and was association president from 2007-09.
Ms Broadhead said SCPA reflects her views on food and environmental sustainability.
“Bill and I are both passionate about growing our own food – we eat what we grow,” she said.
With support from SCPA, Ms Broadhead has been able to help those less fortunate overseas through the special interests group The Loomgrowers and a campaign called Mahboba’s Promise.
Ms Broadhead’s other commitments in the local community have included the Rural Tourism Network, Native Cut Flowers Special Interest Group, and the Bega Valley Home Modification and Maintenance Project.
Ms Broadhead said she is proud to serve the Bega and Bermagui communities.
“Bega is one of the best towns we’ve been in,” she said.
“And I love Bermagui, it’s such a close, loving and caring community.”
Sunday signifies another special celebration for Ms Broadhead.
Carole and Bill will toast their 30th wedding anniversary on Australia Day.
* See Tuesday’s BDN for full story.