‘Hidden Treasures’ revealed in the Tweed area spotlight
FOUR out of the 106 women recognised and celebrated as Hidden Treasures for the valuable volunteer work they do within NSW rural, regional and remote communities are from the Tweed region.
Developed by the Department of Primary Industries' Rural Women's Network, the 2015 Honour Roll records and pays tribute to Dianne Collier from Tweed Heads, Kay Bolton from Fingal Head, Catherine Boyd and Carole Keast - both from South Tweed Heads.
Kay Bolton is a dedicated environmentalist who spends more than 18 hours a week working as a community volunteer.
She is a foundation member of Fingal Head Community Association where she has actively campaigned on many local and national environmental issues.
Kay organises interpretive walks, workshops, community planting days, Clean Up Australia Day, cane toad musters and birdwatching events.
"I think it is generally recognised that many activities and essential services in our society would grind to a halt if volunteers stopped volunteering," Kay said.
"The diversity of activities recognised by just the Hidden Treasure award alone indicates that.
"I think the formal recognition of volunteers not only encourages those already volunteering but it can encourage others to join them.
"I am retired and for the first time in my life I have time to spend on issues that I am passionate about.
"I have loved Fingal all my life - the amazing natural environment, diverse but cohesive community and small village character is something really worth working to preserve."
Fellow "treasure" Catherine Boyd began volunteering when she was 15 by knitting socks, balaclavas and scarves for the war effort.
Now in her late 80s, Catherine still helps at hospital fetes and fashion parades - she knits, sells raffle tickets and plants, helps in the kitchen and models for the fashion parade.
She is a founding member of the Tweed Coast Uniting Church and is the longest-serving member of the church's opportunity shop.
Catherine has been involved with sports clubs, bowls clubs and the Tweed Hospital Auxiliary.
Since 1990, volunteering has played a pivotal role in Dianne Collier's life, beginning in aged care and then helping with mental health.
Di is an active member of the Tweed Community Mental Health Redesign Committee, Tweed Carers Support Group and the Tweed Family and Carers Reference Committee.
She says, while her caring journey has presented many challenges, it has also allowed her to form some very strong relationships and learn new skills.
Carole Keast has worked with Meals on Wheels, facilitated regional parenting programs and worked within disability services.
She became a volunteer of the Northern NSW Local Health District Mental Health Forum two years ago.