23 June, 2021
Jill Blackman receives OAM
Jill Blackman is the recipient of the Order of Australia medal (OAM) in the general division at this year’s Queens Birthday honours, for her work in the Tooraweenah community and the Gilgandra Shire Council.
Mrs Blackman believes that she couldn’t have done everything without her husband Sam Blackman and their sons, as well as all the other people who helped along the way.
Incredibly humbled by the award, Mrs Blackman has continued to volunteer herself for the Tooraweenah community in every way possible for almost 50 years.
“I keep doing it because I think today it’s about the group, the community, supporting people that you know around you, as well as getting an opportunity to support people more broadly,” said Mrs Blackman.
“I think if people don’t volunteer, I think the world wouldn’t be the same place. Think of the fire service, or SES, all those places. The CWA particularly, the money they raise to support people here and overseas as well. It’s about giving, I guess.”
Mrs Blackman’s most rewarding experience to date has been the Ride For Life, and the work she put in with the organisation.
“I think the ride for life and what we did there was incredible, raising money for cancer and also for the accommodation for people in some of the isolated areas. It was great.
“I would certainly like to encourage people, particularly our young people, to think about volunteering. I know some of the young ones we had through meals on wheels, they really loved it and enjoyed it. They gave to people and got something from it themselves from giving.
“So, I would certainly encourage young people to give it a try. We need you all, every single one of you,”
said Mrs Blackman.
Mrs Blackman has been anonymously nominated for the OAM for her service hard work and dedication to the Gilgandra Shire community, including the following:
• Editor, Toora Bungles newsletter (Tooraweenah’s Newsletter), since 1995.
• Secretary/Public Relations, Ride for Life, since circa 2005.
• Advisory Committee Member, Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health, since 2013.
• Secretary, Tooraweenah Endurance Riders, 1988-1992.
• Executive Member, Advocates for Mental Health - Gilgandra Branch, Mental Health Association NSW, 2003-2011. • Member, Tooraweenah Branch, Country Women’s Association of Australia, since 1985.
• Secretary/Public Relations, Tom Quilty National Endurance Championship, 1990-1991.
• Secretary, Kookaburra Recruiting March Re-Enactment, 1986.
• Secretary, Tooraweenah School Centenary, 1984.
• Secretary, Tooraweenah Parents and Citizens Association, circa 1983.
Tooraweenah Show Society
• Secretary, 1972-1975.
• Show Steward, since 1976.
Gilgandra Shire Council
• Gilgandra Shire Council Community Care Centre manager and coordinator, 2005-2018.
• Meals on Wheels coordinator, 2000-2005, and Volunteer, since 2000.
• Deputy Mayor, 1990-1991; 1994-1995 and 1997-1998.
• Councillor, 1987-1999.
• Former chair, North Western Regional Library Group.
• Former chair, Explorer Country Tourism.
• Former chair, Outback Tourism.
• Former chair, Central West Regional Library Group.
Mrs Blackman said she is looking forward to attending the award ceremony later this year.