BEGA’S Helen Slater got a double surprise on Friday.
Not only was she presented with the Bega NSW Local Woman of the Year award by Member for Bega Andrew Constance, but Helen’s family made a surprise appearance for the occasion.
Helen is now off to Sydney for Thursday’s NSW Women of the Year awards where she will meet other local winners from around the state at a morning tea held by Minister for Women Pru Goward.
Mr Constance, along with Gail Hayson and Shannon Whitford from his Bega office, tricked Helen into believing she was coming in to discuss the details of Thursday’s event.
Instead she walked into the conference room to find family and friends – along with a lovely bouquet of flowers – waiting for her.
Present were Helen’s daughter Sallie, her son Peter and daughter-in-law Belinda with their three daughters Imogen, Laura and Abbie, as well as close friends Maree Abraham and Gillian Oates.
“We are all super excited to be here and the girls definitely liked the idea of surprising her,” Belinda said.
“She’s extremely deserving of this award.”
Helen’s award is an acknowledgement of her tireless community activities.
She is well respected for her work with the Bega Showjumping Cup and the Bega AP&H Society.
She is also well known for her ongoing commitment to the Bega and District Nursing Home Auxiliary and the group’s fundraising efforts.
Mr Constance, who personally chose Helen for Bega’s NSW Woman of the Year, said her honour was “well deserved”.
“In my 11 years as Member for Bega Helen has always been there at the frontline doing something positive for the community,” Mr Constance said.
“The award acknowledges the breadth of activities Helen is involved in across the community, especially with showjumping and the auxiliary.”
Helen was thrilled by Friday’s surprise award and was looking forward to meeting other recipients in Sydney on Thursday.
“It’s lovely to see my family here, as well as dear friends Maree and Gillian,” she said.
“I get involved because I love it and I’ve always believe if you can help your community in some way you should.”