Wingham resident Nancy Boyling is still trying to get her head around the fact that she has been awarded an OAM (Medal of the Order of Australia) in the 2021 Queen's Birthday Honours List, even though she has known for some months.
"I'm still in shock and stunned and speechless and all of that!" Nancy laughed.
"I feel very humble about being chosen, because there are so many people out there who do a lot of amazing work."
Nancy was honoured for 'service to the community through charitable organisations'.
She doesn't know who nominated her, but she has her suspicions about two or three people.
Nancy has been a member with Taree Quota Club (formerly Quota International Taree Inc.) since 1993, holding various executive positions over the 28 years, including two stints as president, first from 2003 to 2005, and again from 2018 to 2020.
Quota is a not-for-profit organisation which supports deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired people, and disadvantaged women and children.
In 2019 Nancy hatched a plan produce a video to help local people understand the dangers of loud noise and hearing loss in children.
"I had a thought one night, as you do in bed. I had been watching telly and I saw some adds for quitting smoking, and I thought, why can't we get some money to advertise the dangers of hearing loss in young people," she explained.
"So the next morning I spoke to my secretary, who is very good with words, and we wrote to the Minister for Health, Brad Hazzard and we explained everything about it and how dangerous noise is, and how the damage it does to young people's hearing is pretty bad."
That letter resulted in a grant of $10,000 with help from some lobbying from Member for Myall Lakes, Stephen Bromhead.
Nancy hired local musician and media producer, Jake Davey to shoot and produce the video, with the resulting product aired during the ads before movies at both the Taree and Great Lakes cinemas.
The project is still ongoing.
"We're still working on that. We're hoping tog get it to the ABC kids programs (on television), and we are looking at getting it into our local schools.
Other projects Nancy has been involved in through Quota is purchasing therapy dolls to donate to local nursing homes to assist dementia patients, and co-organising the Red Umbrella Project, raising more than $16,000 in funds for famers and their families in drought-stricken Walgett.
Ive been lucky that Ive had a good husband who's allowed me to run around to do these things!Nancy Boyling
"They were very happy and we got some beautiful letters back from them. There was one in particular, a couple with two little boys, that had an allergy to cows milk so they could only use goats milk. Sadly in the drought one of their goats died. They didn't know how they were going to afford another goat," Nancy said.
Money from Quota allowed the family to replace their goat.
Through Quota Nancy has also helped raise funds to support the Cancer Council, Manning Valley Can Assist, Jeans for Genes and the McGrath Foundation.
In addition to Quota, Nancy is also a member of the Wingham Advancement Group, volunteers for the Taree Show Committee, and is a volunteer for her Parish council, of which she was formerly a member for 12
RELATED: Taree Quotarian Nancy Boyling receives international award years.
Previously she was a volunteer with Meals on Wheels in Wingham and Taree for many, many years, a member of the Wingham High School P&C for 25 years
She started volunteering early - at 16 years of age, as a Girl Guide Leader, a position she held for the next 12 years.
In January 2019, Nancy accepted an award for Community Activity of the Year in MidCoast Council's Australia Day Awards for the Red Umbrella Appeal. Later that year, Quota International named her Volunteer of the Year.
Over the decades of Nancy's contribution to the community, she says she is most proud of helping people in need alongside her fellow Quotarians.
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