Wendy Thomp­son re­tires Thurs­day

The Free Press (Corowa) - - FRONT PAGE - BY ROBERT MUIR

Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil’s Wendy Thomp­son re­tires Thurs­day, Au­gust 30 af­ter serv­ing the last 12 of her 40-year ca­reer as a highly re­spected and pop­u­lar arts and cul­ture of­fi­cer with coun­cil and com­mu­nity.

“With­out the trust and sup­port of coun­cil and man­age­ment I would not have had the op­por­tu­nity to un­der­take many of the ex­cit­ing projects that I have co-or­di­nated dur­ing the 12 years at Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil,” she told The Free Press.

“Most re­ward­ing is work­ing with the com­mu­nity to achieve the out­comes they want.”

Wendy, 65, said there have been many high­lights. “I have met many peo­ple in the com­mu­nity who do so much and with­out them by my side many of these achieve­ments would not have hap­pened,” she said.

“The em­pha­sis of my po­si­tion is on build­ing strong re­la­tion­ships and fa­cil­i­tat­ing net­works between coun­cil and com­mu­nity groups and or­gan­i­sa­tions.”

Manag­ing the Miki City pro­gram for the past five years is rated highly by Wendy as a high­light. Other high­lights in­clude:

• open­ing of Art Space (first pub­lic art gallery for Corowa) which has brought to­gether the ‘Corowa Col­lec­tion’

• or­gan­is­ing the Bald Archy vis­it­ing Corowa

each year

• work­ing with high school stu­dents to paint mu­rals at the skate park, aged care and Unit Y.

• arts and cul­tural pro­grams with the pri­mary schools for Naidoc week and other ac­tiv­i­ties.

• vis­it­ing monks from Ti­bet.

• pro­duc­ing the first Dis­abil­ity In­clu­sion Ac­tion Plan (DIAP) for the coun­cil and for­ma­tion of an Ac­cess Com­mit­tee. “Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil has sup­ported me dur­ing some very tough times in my per­sonal life and I will al­ways be very grate­ful for that. I will miss the peo­ple that I see on a day-to-day ba­sis how­ever I expect to stay in con­tact with many.”

Coun­cil’s di­rec­tor cor­po­rate and com­mu­nity ser­vices Kristy Kay com­mented about Wendy’s early Corowa Shire Coun­cil days in a part time role as com­mu­nity, so­cial and cul­tural de­vel­op­ment Of­fi­cer.

“This al­lowed coun­cil to de­velop its first Com­mu­nity, So­cial and Cul­tural Plan and Wendy has been so com­mit­ted to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of this plan and work­ing closely with the com­mu­nity to achieve this,” Ms Kay said.

“As part of the plan, coun­cil’s first small Com­mu­nity Grants Pro­gram was in­tro­duced and Wendy has worked with count­less groups as part of this to de­liver some re­ally won­der­ful com­mu­nity ini­tia­tives.

“Wendy also de­vel­oped coun­cil’s first Dis­abil­ity In­clu­sion Ac­tion Plan and formed the Ac­cess Com­mit­tee to help coun­cil im­ple­ment this im­por­tant plan.

“The avail­abil­ity of fund­ing has al­ways been a key con­straint for Wendy in her role but she has had the great abil­ity to be so re­source­ful and has formed many valu­able part­ner­ships over the years.

“While we will cer­tainly miss Wendy in her role, we wish her all the best with her fu­ture work.”

Be­fore she moved to Ruther­glen in 2005, Wendy un­der­took com­mu­nity health ser­vice roles in Wan­garatta and Wodonga, and had served in Lo­cal Govern­ment cov­er­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal health ser­vices in NSW and Vic­to­ria.

She was well qual­i­fied with a De­gree in En­vi­ron­men­tal Health from Swin­burne Uni­ver­sity and a Post Grad­u­ate Diploma from RMIT.

Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil Mayor Pat Bourke said Wendy proved to be “an ex­cel­lent coun­cil/com­mu­nity fa­cil­i­ta­tor and op­er­a­tor over many years”.

“Wendy is so well re­spected and liked by com­mu­ni­ties through­out Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil area and so pop­u­lar among coun­cil staff of all lev­els – and not for­get­ting by our spe­cial in­ter­na­tional guests from our sis­ter city Miki in Ja­pan where she was the per­fect host last week,” Mayor Bourke said.

A keen pho­tog­ra­pher, Wendy is look­ing for­ward to spend­ing more time with fam­ily, es­pe­cially her grand­sons. But her won­der­ful com­mu­nity work will con­tinue, vol­un­teer­ing as pas­toral care worker at Karinya Aged Care in Corowa.

Wendy Thomp­son, who re­tires from coun­cil this com­ing Thurs­day said manag­ing the Miki City pro­gram has been one of her ca­reer high­lights. Wendy is pic­tured last week at the Oak­lands Cen­tral School with the Miki City stu­dents and del­e­gates.

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