MEDAL FOR DELL
Taroom volunteer recognised for years of dedicated service to her community
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.
SELFLESS VOLUNTEER: Taroom's Dell Johnson.