Clare McMahon has been named the Bega Valley Shire Senior Citizen of the Year for 2022. The awards will be officially presented at a special event in Littleton Gardens Bega on Australia Day, January 26.
Clare McMahon from Kiah has been described as a living icon and at 81 years of age, she is an inspiration to all, having made an outstanding contribution to her local community over many years as a fundraiser, volunteer, advocate, facilitator and mobiliser.
Clare could have easily rested on the laurels of her career success in Austrade and as a Trade Commissioner in several countries and Trade Commissioner and Consulate General in Mumbai, India before retiring in 1999. However, her dream was to run the family farm in Kiah and become a primary beef producer.
Clare has made her mark in the heart of her local community. She is a sincere giver; keeping an eye out for her neighbours, lending a hand as needed, connecting people and sharing information to ensure people can access the support they need.
Despite losing sheds, outbuildings and fences (thankfully not her home) during the Black Summer bushfires, Clare has worked tirelessly to support the local recovery process. She is a lead representative of the Friends of Kiah Hall Committee and is passionate about the rebuild of the new Kiah hall.
Clare is working with the charity groups to install a bathroom at the site for people using the BBQ and community tennis courts, has secured funding for sporting equipment and new nets at the courts and been involved in organising family fun days at the site.
A key connection point for Rotary, BlazeAid, Connecting Communities Australia and Habitat for Humanity, Clare has driven support for water and septic tanks, nesting boxes, the Bega Valley Water and Sanitation Project, bushfire debris clearing and fence-building.
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