MEDAL FOR DELL

Ta­room vol­un­teer recog­nised for years of ded­i­cated ser­vice to her com­mu­nity

Chinchilla News - - FRONT PAGE - Brooke Dun­can Brooke. Dun­can@ chin­chilla news.com.au

VOL­UN­TEERS are a self­less lot - giv­ing up their time and en­ergy with­out ex­pect­ing any­thing in re­turn. So it’s al­ways spe­cial when that ded­i­ca­tion is recog­nised par­tic­u­larly when it’s at the na­tional level. Ta­room’s Dell John­son is such a per­son, and was cel­e­brated re­cently for her long-time com­mu­nity ef­forts with a Medal of the Or­der of Aus­tralia.

Mrs John­son is the vice-pres­i­dent, and a found­ing mem­ber, of the Ta­room Shire Can­cer and Pal­lia­tive Care Group - an or­gan­i­sa­tion founded more than a decade ago to help peo­ple fac­ing dis­abil­ity, ter­mi­nal ill­ness, or re­cov­ery from ac­ci­dents by pro­vid­ing mo­bil­ity/as­sis­tance equip­ment, and ac­com­mo­da­tion.

Over the years the group fundraised to amass an ar­ray of equip­ment, and ac­quired the old nurses quar­ters in Ta­room to use as ac­com­mo­da­tion for those vis­it­ing sick or elderly fam­ily mem­bers.

Mrs John­son said it means that, rather than spend­ing one full, ex­haust­ing day vis­it­ing, fam­ily can spend qual­ity time spread out over a whole week­end and stay for free at the old quar­ters.

Mean­while, the “un­be­liev­able” quan­tity of equip­ment the group has amassed since it’s in­cep­tion is be­ing used through­out the com­mu­nity.

“I get com­fort know­ing that we are help­ing peo­ple,” Mrs John­son said.

“It’s mak­ing their lives a lit­tle eas­ier, es­pe­cially car­ers of peo­ple that are ill at home, if we can make their load a lit­tle bet­ter it makes it eas­ier for every­one.

“But that’s only from the sup­port of the peo­ple of Ta­room and district that we’ve been able to do that. So it’s not me alone, it’s the com­mu­nity that does all the help­ing to raise that money.

“With­out their help and sup­port we can’t do any­thing.”

Char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally hum­ble, Mrs John­son said it was “un­be­liev­able” she’d been cho­sen to ac­cept the award.

“I didn’t feel that I should be sin­gled out when it’s the whole of the com­mu­nity and

❝With­out their help and sup­port we can’t do any­thing. — Dell John­son

I ac­cepted it on be­half of the com­mu­nity, not just my­self,” she said.

Mrs John­son trav­elled to Bris­bane to be pre­sented with the medal on Septem­ber 19. She wished to ac­knowl­edge the group’s pres­i­dent Ger­ald Rose, sec­re­tary Heidi Phillips, and trea­surer Bar­bara Smith for their ef­forts, and her hus­band Harry for his sup­port. And she also had a spe­cial mes­sage for the com­mu­nity.

“Thank you for all the sup­port that we’ve re­ceived in the time we’ve been in Ta­room, and the sup­port we hope to re­ceive in the fu­ture to keep the group go­ing.”

There’s plenty still to come for the group, es­pe­cially with the open­ing of their new kitchen fa­cil­ity at the old quar­ters on Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 14.

PHOTO: ANN AL­COCK

SELF­LESS VOL­UN­TEER: Ta­room's Dell John­son.

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