Wendy Thompson retires Thursday
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
• 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.