Kings Meadows parishioner receives Australia Day honour

By Veronika Cox

Volunteering has always been part of Pamela Watkins’ life.

The Kings Meadows parishioner’s service to the community resulted in an Australia Day honour this year, with Pamela awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia.

I was very surprised and humbled to have been nominated for such an award for doing what I enjoy so much,” she said.

“I never ever thought of getting recognition for my community service. I have done it most of my life.”

Pamela began her lifetime involvement with community service when she was a child.

“I started helping dad with Meals on Wheels at a young age, and when I got my driver’s license I drove the car while he delivered library books to the housebound,” she explained.

“During school holidays, mum and I would cook for dad’s Cub Pack at their holiday Camp.  At 17, I became a Red Cross Blood Donor and have continued to do so when able. Volunteering has always been part of my life and my family’s.”

Faith has been a guiding force in Pamela’s life, with the Lord’s example lighting the way.

“I have always taken my faith seriously and attend mass at our local church regularly,” she said.

“Always respect others, no matter the circumstances, and be ready to give a helping hand as Our Lord showed us in the Gospel.”

Pamela Watkins’ extensive involvement in the community includes serving as a board member for the John Lewis Foundation, volunteer for the National Trust at the properties of the Old Umbrella Shop and the Heritage Franklin House and driving for Red Cross Transport. Photo by Jess Shaw.

Pamela, whose decades of work have seen her receive the Launceston City Council Australia Day Citizen Award, the Rotary Paul Harris Fellow and the Australian Red Cross Outstanding Service Award, said she encouraged others to volunteer and do what they can.

“I think it’s important to give back some of what I have been fortunate enough in my life to have and perhaps taken for granted, and to have the opportunity to help others and to do it willingly,” she said.

“Without volunteers, Australia would not be the wonderful country we have.”

Pamela’s extensive involvement in the community includes serving as a board member for the John Lewis Foundation, volunteer for the National Trust at the properties of the Old Umbrella Shop and the Heritage Franklin House and driving for Red Cross Transport.

She is a past president of the Northern Tasmanian Branch of the Royal Commonwealth Society, past chairman of the Board of Spurr Wing and former state president, group president and secretary for the Women’s Public Speaking Organisation the Penguin Club of Australia (now known as Speaking Made Easy).

Pamela joined International Women’s Organisation Inner Wheel in 1987, and has held many positions including club president and current secretary.

In 2016, she joined a Rotary Group traveling to Nepal.

“We were to assess the needs of the people after the devastating earthquake in April 2015, in which 9000 died and hundreds were injured mostly in the Kathmandu Valley,” she said.

“We travelled mostly on foot up the foothills of the Himalayas to visit the eye screening camp. Back at the hospital, I was fortunate to help the patients after their surgery by removing their eye dressings and to see the delight and amazement when they could see, many for the first time in in their life or for many years.”

Along with her tireless volunteer work, Pamela has also been a foster parent and exchange student host.

Photos by Jess Shaw

Tags: Kings Meadows, News, Northern Deanery