Tag Archives: OAM

Balance is the key to a successful sporting life

THE “GREAT WALL of Warrandyte”, Rachael Lynch OAM was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in the 2024 Australia Day Honours for her services to hockey.
Rachael was awarded for her distinguished career on the hockey pitch, alongside her significant work off the pitch as a mental health ambassador, and as a nurse.
Australia’s “most capped goalkeeper ever”, the two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Rachael was also a dual Olympian, a World Cup silver medallist, and played 233 games for Australia across her international career.
Off the pitch, she is a nurse at Austin Hospital, a hockey coach, a Performance Lifestyle Advisor with the Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS), and a passionate advocate for mental health, serving as an ambassador for RUOK? Day.
Rachael told Warrandyte Diary she has followed the different honours and awards given to Australians over the years and some of the incredible things that they do.

“It is something that is very special and highly regarded, so I am absolutely privileged and honoured to receive one,” she said.

She said she has always tried to keep a life balance, which she is trying to instil in the athletes she supports at the VIS.

“I have four different sports I am looking after at the VIS, none of them being hockey, so I get to share some of my experiences around — like the importance of having a bit of life balance as an athlete.
“I was working as a nurse throughout my whole career, and it was something I was incredibly passionate about, because having those other areas and those other identities allow you to become a better person and a better athlete as well,” she said.

She said while the gender pay gap was a reality, having employment away from elite sport was grounding.

“It was something that gave me perspective, and health is good for that, but I think every athlete is going to go through those ups and downs in their career, and it just allows you to keep you grounded.
“Having something else that you are good at as well, if things aren’t going well in your sport, you have also got those other areas and those things that you are passionate about.
“If I ever met someone for the first time and they asked what I did, I always said that I was a nurse — I didn’t say I was an athlete — I am equally proud of my sporting career, but nursing is something I think is a bit more relatable to people.
“As much as we want the pay gap to close and we want female athletes to have some equality, it would not matter what someone was getting paid; I would always suggest or encourage them to have those other areas outside of their sport.”

Rachael said while she has many highlights on the pitch, it is her legacy of life balance she instilled in the Hockeyroos during her time on the squad she feels most proud of.

“Normally, in an Olympic year, you don’t work or study, just because of the increased load, but I pushed hard to be able to work in that year because it was really important to me and gave me the perspective and balance throughout the year helps me play better.
“At the time, there were only three of us who were working, but then, for the leadup to the 2020 Olympics, nearly everyone in the team was working or studying, and that was a bit of a legacy for me, and I wanted to encourage and educate the importance of that.”

Her hockey career has not always been smooth sailing. In the leadup to Tokyo, players’ lack of confidence in the off-field leadership of Hockey Australia was brought to a head by a decision by selectors to drop Lynch and fellow Hockeyroo Georgie Morgan from the team, only to have the decision reversed on appeal, and the selection panel resign.

“I did six months in the lead into the Tokyo Olympics training by myself because I wasn’t in the team; I had to go through a legal battle to get my spot back, which I did.
“There was a lot that needed to change in the sport, which is what happened, and it was just great to see the group so happy and able to be themselves.
“It was unfortunate how it all played out, but I was happy to be a part of it,” she said. She said the challenges leading up to the Tokyo Olympics made the event even more sweet.
“To be able to get there and go away with a group of girls who felt we were doing something really special, and I guess that was what allowed me to retire feeling pretty content because the sport was in a much better place by that point.”

Rachael has been an ambassador for RUOK? Day, Lifeline, Live to Give, Donor Mate, and also coaches and mentors rising athletes.

“I like to keep myself busy and do several different things, and certainly, in my coaching, I have been fortunate.
“I have got so much out of hockey over the years and to have the opportunity to give back, whether through different mental health activations or my coaching — looking after up-and-coming goalies.
“I am always trying to grab opportunities to share some of the special things that I got from the sport with other young athletes or even older athletes; I really enjoy that,” she said.

Rachael took the opportunity to give a special thank you to her mum, dad, and brother.

“Because they have been there for every step of the journey with me, and I know there were a lot of sacrifices very early on for them to allow me to travel and compete, and so I am also very grateful for that.”

Rachael’s mother, Anne Lynch, spoke to the Diary and said she was very proud of her daughter.

“She is just a beautiful person, she works very hard, and does a lot of community work — she deserves it.
“We are just so excited for her, and based on the messages I have received, the rest of the community are too,” Anne said.

Rachel still gets out on the pitch, playing in local and national competitions.

“I play for Camberwell in the Melbourne competition, and then I also play in the Melbourne team in the national league, so nothing international, but I still love the sport.”

She said she doesn’t think the honour will change things too much for her. “I try to have a positive influence in any environment that I am in, whether it is work or coaching sport.

“The thing I value the most is having balance, perspective, and just being kind to people.”

Rachael joins a number of athletes who were recognised for their services to sport in the 2024 honours.
Commonwealth Games Australia President Ben Houston noted their recognition and congratulated all on their service to sport and their community in Australia.

“Commonwealth sport is at the heart of Australia’s story, and we welcome the continued acknowledgement of those that have contributed to the green and gold at the Games,” said Mr Houston.
“Our congratulations to those who were elevated to and received a Member of the Order of Australia, as well as the recipients recognised with a Medal of the Order of Australia.”

The Governor-General congratulated the 1,042 Australians who received honours this Australia Day.

“Recipients have made a difference and had an impact at the local, national, and international level.
“Individually, they are inspiring, and collectively, they speak to the strength of our communities.
“Recipients come from all parts of the country. “They have served and had an impact in just about every field you can imagine; their stories and backgrounds are diverse.
“We value their service, thank them for their hard work and selflessness and celebrate them.
“To each recipient: know that you have the thanks and respect of your nation. “In my experience, most are humble and often try to deflect attention or praise — please enjoy the moment because your country has decided that you deserve recognition,” the Governor-General said.

Queen’s Birthday Honours for two local stalwarts

Congratulations to Jan Davies and Doug Seymour who have each been awarded an OAM in this year’s Queen’s Birthday honours.

Doug Seymour

Doug Seymour has been recognised for his work in the Warrandyte Community, most notably with the Warrandyte Community Association, where he has been on the central committee since 2012.

Doug was also a foundation member of the Warrandyte Environment League in 1970, where he served as President for more than six years.

Doug told the Diary he was surprised by the award, but said it was “much appreciated, as the nomination must have been put forward by some of the wonderful Warrandyte people I have worked with in the interests of sensitive planning and conservation values over the past 40 years”.

“We value our heritage bushland character and conservation values and you are never alone when the battle goes forward in this town,” he said.

More recently he has been on the committee of the Warrandyte Community Retirement Cooperative, which has been working to enable older Warrandyte residents the opportunity of staying within Warrandyte when the typical Warrandyte block becomes too much to maintain.

The cooperative built the award-winning Creekside retirement village, and are nearing completion of the new Riverside development in West End Road.

The honour has also recognised Doug’s tireless work for the community of Warrandyte on his work on numerous committees, including the WCA’s Be Ready Warrandyte campaign, which promoted fire safety throughout the community, as well as his volunteering with Friends of Warrandyte State Park, where he has been a member since its inception in 1982.

He has also been involved with the Warrandyte Historical Society since 1976, and managed the Warrandyte Organic Food Cooperative.

Jan Davies

Dr Janice Davies (B.Sc Hons, Grad Dip HRM, MBA, PhD) has been recognised for her considerable contribution both to health care throughout Australia and to her local community in Warrandyte over the last 40 years.

Jan Davies’ two faceted award acknowledges her generosity with her time with pro-bono and community activities, in addition to her considerable achievements in her professional life.

Health

As a leading innovator in the health sector in Australia, she has introduced “communities of practice” to clinicians around the country — helping health service leaders identify ways to improve the clinical services they deliver to patients.

Jan initiated innovative approaches to address educational, social and health inequalities in rural, disadvantaged and Indigenous communities.

She established the National Institute of Clinical Studies (NICS) in collaboration with Professor Chris Silagy AO and worked with Alzheimer’s Australia to introduce new programs designed to improve the care and design of services for people with Alzheimer’s.

Jan has an abiding commitment to protecting some of the most vulnerable people in the community.

Jan has also been actively involved in a national bullying prevention program, and in caring for and supporting victims of sexual assault.

One of her earliest projects, in the 1990s, was to head up and coordinate the establishment of the North- East Centre Against Sexual Assault (NECASA).

Community

The legacy of Jan’s volunteer work is enjoyed by the thousands of people who use the Warrandyte State Park, the Warrandyte Community Centre and our many cultural and social facilities.

Her passion for community health is seen in the many trekking tours she has organised, and her leadership of the Heart Foundation Walking Group.

Her enduring legacy in the Warrandyte community is her achievements as Co-Chair of the Warrandyte Environment League.

In this role, she spearheaded a campaign advocating for the State Government to purchase land in North Warrandyte now known as Koornong Reserve and was instrumental in convincing the then Eltham Council to purchase the environmentally sensitive Professors Hill land as a Council Reserve.

She also persuaded the then Doncaster and Eltham Councils to purchase vacant garage land in central Warrandyte as a site for a Community Centre.

The Warrandyte Community Centre was later developed by Manningham Council to house the community library, Warrandyte Diary, the Neighbourhood House and facilities to host many other community functions and activities.

Val Polley honoured

CONGRATULATIONS to Val Polley, doyen of the Warrandyte community, who has been named in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Awarded an Honorary OAM for her “services to the Warrandyte Community”, which recognises her tireless work over a period of almost 50 years.

“I have to say it came as a complete surprise and I’m touched that others have thought me worthy of it,” Val told the Diary.

President of the Warrandyte Community Association, Dick Davies, told the Diary: “While many, many personalities and identities contribute greatly to the Warrandyte Community, it is hard to match Val’s long-term dedication as a planner, environmentalist, historical society stalwart, former Councillor and Mayor, and one of the founders of the WCA.

“Two major themes underpin her commitment: concern for residents and concern for the environment,” he said.

Val said her participation in community affairs started early when she was drawn in by local activist Joy Henke back in the late 1960s.

“It started with environmental issues and with groups such as the Warrandyte Environment League and Friends of Warrandyte State Park,” she said.

Since then she has long been actively involved in all local conservation activities: as a founding member of the Warrandyte Environment League (1970–75); as a committee member of the Yarra Valley Conservation League (1972–78); and since 1982 until today she is celebrated as a founding member of the Friends of the Warrandyte State Park (FOWSP).

In the wider community she has been equally active: 1972–78 council member of the Warrandyte Primary School and Anderson’s Creek Primary School; 1978–87 Council member of Warrandyte High School, as president from 1985–87 she was responsible for planning and oversight of the new buildings.

From 1976–78 she was a founding member and president of Doncaster and Templestowe Spinners and Weavers Group.

In the late 90s she was an OXFAM community support group member, as well as director/secretary of the Warrandyte Community Centre Supporters Group Inc., which managed the property on behalf of the Council.

Since 2001 she has been a member of the Warrandyte Community Association, where she was a Committee member from 2004–7 and president in 2006.

She also found time in 2003–4 to be a founding director of the Warrandyte Community Bank.

Val campaigned for many years, for the “Creekside” retirement complex.

In the past, because of the local terrain, elderly residents had been obliged to leave their homes and friends in the local community for more manageable properties elsewhere.

The project was first mooted in 1987, and she made it a central theme of her successful campaign to be a Doncaster and Templestowe Councillor.

“The fact that it took another 20 years before realisation is testament to Val’s early commitment and resolution to further community benefits,” said Dick.

Val continues to work for the cooperative to search for appropriate land for further residences.

Val has long been involved with Local Council activities.

From 1977–79 she was a member of the Doncaster and Templestowe Arts Advisory Committee, and from 1988–89 a member of the Warrandyte Township Improvement Study Committee.

Val was elected as a councillor to the City of Doncaster and Templestowe Council, serving from 1989–94, and as Mayor from 1991–92.

As a councillor with residential and environmental interests at heart, she supported strategic planning for heritage properties and open space, roadsides, and residential and commercial centres complemented by rate reductions.

She opposed dual occupancy, which would have increased housing density in a major bushfire prone area.

Val chaired a study on the heritage of the Old Warrandyte Post Office building; which was eventually restored and now houses the Warrandyte Historical Society.

She was involved in long-term planning for the Warrandyte Township and served on the Middle Yarra Advisory Committee, helping to save Green Wedge land in Park Orchards and Warrandyte, now enjoyed as part of the ‘lungs’ of the eastern suburbs.

Val also served on a Plant Pest Advisory Committee to safeguard the local environment and State Park from invasive weeds.

Val is currently Secretary of the Warrandyte Historical Society and has been an archivist and occasional committee member since 2005.

She has been instrumental over the past five years in the strategic direction, planning and procedures of the Society.

“She liaises with numerous external bodies and people, develops outstanding exhibitions, keeps history alive with articles in the Warrandyte Diary — she is truly a driving force behind the Society,” said Dick.

Val recently celebrated the Warrandyte Community as author of Wonderful Warrandyte – A History.

From 1987–88, Val was chief-of-staff of the Warrandyte Diary, and she continues to be an occasional feature writer celebrating local life, history and local identities.

Given that during this period Val had full time senior management employment and a family to bring up, it is difficult to appreciate how she found the time to contribute so much.

“She continues to do so, effectively and with such good grace and general approbation, that she is a role model for effective liaison between Government and our local community,” said Dick.

Val says she feels “privileged to live in Warrandyte… and to be part of such an inclusive, vibrant community.

“My involvement across various issues and organisations in the township has always led to friendships, new skills and a sense of satisfaction in putting something back.

“Looking back, it’s been such a rewarding journey with great people and good outcomes along the way.

“How lucky are we in Warrandyte?,” she said.

“Without such people, with the personality and skills to make things happen, well-meaning local initiatives are ineffective,” said Dick.

Val was granted an “honorary” award because she is not an Australian citizen.

Australia Day Honours

Warrandyte’s Julie Quinton was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to the community on Australia Day.

The OAM is the pre-eminent way Australians recognise the achievement and service of their fellow citizens.

Julie’s service to the community includes her role as President of the Warrandyte Business Association and her membership on the Be Ready Warrandyte Committee where she works alongside businesses, assisting them with a fire plan for staff safety.

Julie is also an inaugural member of the organising committee for the Country Fire Authority of Victoria’s Warrandyte Fireball.

“In 2014, when Warrandyte was under fire threat, it dawned on me that we, as a community, should take the responsibility of fund raising,” said Julie.

The Medal of the Order of Australia is awarded for service worthy of particular recognition.

“I’m so overwhelmed, it’s a lovely honour,” said Julie.

“I feel very humbled, and a bit undeserving.

“I’m very thankful for whoever nominated me, and to my family.

“When I first received notification of the award nomination I was hesitant to accept it.

“I felt a bit uncomfortable and almost declined the award, there are more deserving people than me.

“Then, as I reflected, my thoughts took me to my granddaughters, and that one day they will be proud of me.”

Appointments to the Order of Australia recognise outstanding achievement and service.

Acting Minister for Women (Victoria) Jenny Mikakos states: “Victorian women contribute equally to the success of our state and it’s important that we nominate them to be recognised for their service and dedication.”

 

Manningham Australia Day Perpetual Trophy

 

The Warrandyte Riverside Market has been awarded the 2018 Manningham Australia Day Perpetual Trophy.

The award was presented to the organising committee by Federal Member for Menzies, Kevin Andrews in a ceremony at the Manningham Civic Centre on January 26.

The City of Manningham delegated the task of selecting a group or individual/s, which demonstrate character traits worthy of such an award to the Manningham Promoting Character Committee.

The market committee is made up of local community groups, the Warrandyte Community Association, Warrandyte Community Church, Warrandyte Lions, Rotary Club of Warrandyte Donvale and the North Warrandyte CFA, while the day-to-day running of the market is managed by local marketing consultants Greg Rowell and Bambi Gordon at The Woo.

President of the Market Committee, Geoff Taylor told the Diary that receiving the award was “wonderful” and that it was “recognition of what a community group can achieve once they put their minds to it”.

When the previous administration informed the Council that they wouldn’t be continuing into 2016, Manningham Council put a call out for someone to take over, and a coalition of community groups formed to take on the role.

“It was a priority to us that the market continues, so that is why we put our hands up and volunteered to the council to step in and continue the thirty-year tradition.

“We had to try to make a transition from the former administration to the new administration in just over a month, which we were able to do,” said Geoff.

Geoff said he sees the market as a focal point for the community.

“We have a lot of people from the community come and enjoy the market, purchase their favourite items from the market … it is where families can come and enjoy the morning and get a variety of produce, which seems to be improving all the time.”

Bambi Gordon adds that the market is also a popular venue with stallholders.

“We get a small number of newbies every market — because regulars can’t necessarily do every one of them — but we have had over 900 applications to run a market stall in 2017,” she said.

Greg Rowell agrees: “The market is so popular at the moment, it is 75% sold out for this year, and it will be totally sold out by the time the first market is held on February 3”.

“We look at the retail mix, so that when people cancel we look at what you have got as far as applications for someone you think is going to add to the variety, not be a competitor to someone who regularly comes and sells, but also the sorts of small businesses and market stalls that are likely to attract new customers,” Bambi said.

The market has had to instigate an online booking program to control numbers, which has been necessary since Parks Victoria restricted access to some areas of the reserve to reduce impact on the vegetation.

“Part of having it pre-booked is about protecting the environment as well, because they are allocated a site number, they don’t just turn up on the day, if they are not on the list at the top of Stiggants they don’t get to bring their car in, so we don’t have those issues of people just driving through and parking where they like,” Bambi said.

President of the WCA and Market Committee member, Dick Davies told the Diary that the market has seen a large amount of money go back into the community.

“Last year we put $74,000 back into the community,” he said.

“People apply for grants, and each of the members of the committee receives a portion towards their organisation — Lions, Rotary, Community Association, Community Church, CFA and people apply for grants either as individuals or it could be for something like building a cubby house or a community garden at the kindergarten — so they will give a specific project for it to go to — so it all goes back to the community,” explained Bambi.

Bambi said that the award is not just for the organising committee, but everyone who has helped the market become such an integral part of the Warrandyte community.

“The sheer number of volunteer hours that go into this, to have those volunteers who are down here at 4am in the middle of winter in the dark — and there has been so many of them over the thirty years — they really deserve this award and more,” she said.

 

 

Dynamic duos acknowledged in Australia Day ceremony

 

 

By SANDI MILLER

Two Warrandyte couples were recognised for their contributions to the community as Kevin Andrews presented this year’s Menzies Community Australia Day Awards.

Alf and Carole Adins have been recognised for their service to Meals on Wheels, where they have volunteered for over seven years, a task which Carole says she finds rewarding.

“We enjoy it, we have made lots of friends and it gives pleasure to the people who we call on, some of them don’t see anyone else for days, except for us who deliver meals, so Alf drives, and I go in and chat with them and we go through the fridges of some of them to make sure things aren’t out of date,” she said.

Mrs Adins says she has made friends with several of her former clients and takes time to continue to catch up with them even though she has changed rounds.

“We visit still and they come over for lunch and at Christmas and they are great friends, I tend to get involved with the people, sometimes too much!” she said.

Although she admits the role can be quite challenging at times.

“We have seen people slip into dementia, it’s sometimes quite emotional, and it makes you aware of your own mortality.”

The pair have also been acknowledged for their work selling poppies, badges and bears for the Doncaster RSL and Legacy Widows Clubs.

Closer to home, Alf and Carole have both been panel members for the Melbourne Hill Road Drainage Scheme as well as members of the committee objecting to the mobile phone tower at the Warrandyte Recreation Reserve.

Cynthia and Gerry Kearney were honoured for their volunteer work with Doncare.

Mrs Kearney volunteers at the Op Shop as well as holding a voluntary position on the Op Shop committee as Treasurer.

Mr Kearney is part of Doncare’s depot crew, where his commendation noted that “he has lifted furniture, sorted through mountains of rubbish and championed metal recycling like no other”.

Gerry makes his way around Doncare’s six Op Shops collecting weird and wonderful donated items to take back to the storing facility for sorting.

“We pick up furniture and electrical goods that need to go back to the depot for testing and tagging and also we collect various metals which we sort and sell for scrap metal,” he said.

Cynthia told the Diary she finds working at Doncare very satisfying.

“Because you are helping the community, the money we raise at the Op Shop goes back into community projects, and you are meeting people, you feel like you are doing something important,” she said. Gerry said he felt honoured to be receiving the award.

“To receive an award for something you enjoy doing is the icing on the cake, but we feel there are many people in Doncare that are a lot more worthy than us,” he said.

“There are so many people who work so hard to be nominated, we do feel humble,” said Cynthia.

To receive an Australia Day award is particularly special to Alf Adins. “It was the day I arrived in Australia in 1962,” he told the Diary.

“He came to Australia as a £10 Pom,” continued Carole, “Australia Day to us is important, it is a day where we celebrate being Australian, regardless of race or colour or where you came from, for us it is a day to celebrate Australia”.

Jock and Steve the toast of the town

WARRANDYTE’S Jock Macneish and Steve Pascoe have been recognised for their great services to the community by each receiving an Order of Australia Medal (OAM).

Announced on Australia Day, Jock, our much loved Diary cartoonist and master of many talents, was recognised for his service to the visual arts and to the community of Warrandyte. Steve, a legendary figure at the Warrandyte Cricket Club, was recognised for his service to cricket.

Both popped into the Diary this morning for a photo shoot and you can read all about it in the February edition of your CNAV Newspaper of the Year (back to back) Monday week.