Patricia Walker was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in the Queen's Birthday honours for service to the community of Moore Park Beach.
Mrs Walker said she was very proud to receive the award.
The announcement was made all the more special when she discovered her nomination was masterminded by her 20-year-old grandson.
“I’m just very happy and proud that I’ve had this honour, especially when I found out who it was from,” Mrs Walker said.
“He is the one who has known all these years just what nana has done for people. He wants the world to know how much he loves his grandmother.”
She said he “must have delved very deep” to find information to submit to the Governor General’s office and was aware that the community had come together to collect information for her nomination.
In the list of her many achievements an association with the Lions Club and the Moore Park Beach Festival of Arts were among the highlights.
“My biggest achievement is, of course, the festival,” Mrs Walker said.
“That’s a big thing for Moore Park.
“My aim was to let people know art doesn’t end with a paint brush.
“I think the local people being involved, it gave them an icon for Moore Park. It brings Moore Park into the open world.”
‘Well deserved' recognition for Patricia Walker
Mayor Jack Dempsey congratulated Mrs Walker and said the honour was well deserved.
“Pat has been a great driving force in the Moore Park Beach community to keep the art festival going over many years,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“She has been a stable contributor to the community over many years, offering a great deal of energy and enthusiasm.
“Such passionate support is a great inspiration for members of our community.”
Community and cultural services portfolio spokesperson Cr Judy Peters said she was pleased to have been one of the contributors to Mrs Walker’s nomination.
“I have known Pat for many years and have seen first-hand the positive impacts of her service to our community,” Cr Peters said.
“There is absolutely no doubt that a Queen’s Birthday honour is an appropriate way to recognise her service to the Bundaberg Region and beyond.”
Patricia Walker founded two community groups
In awarding the Medal of the Order of Australia it was also noted that, among countless fundraisers, she has also founded two local community groups.
In 2005 Mrs Walker founded the Moore Park Beach Seniors Association.
“There was an awful lot of people that didn’t have a licence any more,” she said.
“I was finding they were lonely. It’s a lovely little place but there’s not much to do for people in that age bracket.”
Now members of the group meet every Monday morning and enjoy a raft of games and activities with friends.
“It’s quite a social gathering, membership is just under 50.”
Mrs Walker is also a founding member of the International Women’s Society Bundaberg.
She said it all started in 1996 with five women of different nationalities sitting around a table.
Having been born in the United Kingdom, Mrs Walker said it was a chance to celebrate the many cultures found in the Bundaberg Region.
“It’s been a big part of Bundaberg. We’ve kept together all these years,” she said.
“We all met through line dancing. The International Women now put on their own stage show every year.”
Mrs Walker will officially receive the award during Queen’s Birthday celebrations in October.
She said she was filled with “pride and joy to even be considered for such an honour”.
Decades of service listed
Lions Club of Australia
- Member of Lions International since 2005.
- Committee member, Moore Park Beach Lions Club, 1995.
- Lionesses president, Mount Gambier, 1987-88.
- Member since 1972.
Moore Park Beach Festival of Arts
- Patron, current.
- President and organiser, 2000-2016.
- Event organiser, Bundaberg Leukaemia Foundation Fundraisers, 2001-2006.
- Founder/president, Moore Park Beach Seniors Association, since 2005.
- Organiser, Moore Park Beach Cancer Council's Biggest Morning Tea Event, since 2001.
- Event organiser, Moore Park Beach Cancer Council Biggest Morning Tea since 2001.
- Inaugural member, Moore Park Beach Community Hall Association, since 1998.
- Founder member of International Women's Society Bundaberg, 1996.
Bundaberg TAFE, Queensland
- Job placement officer, 1992-1996.
- Women's support officer, 1993.
- Hospitality trainer and coordinator, 1990
- Rescuers of stranded swimmers commended for bravery