Lifeblood of Blackall receives OAM
A PASSION for giving back to a tiny Central Queensland she has lived in and loved for half a century has seen Reverend Beth O'Neill recognised for her invaluable contribution and passion for giving back to the community.
Rev O'Neill, who has called Blackall home for the past 54 years, has been named as a recipient of a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).
Being awarded the OAM for her service to the community of Blackall, Rev O'Neill has given devoted service to numerous organisations in Blackall and surrounds for decades.
"It's a great honour to be chosen by your community," Rev O'Neill said.
"We're all part of the one community so when you see that there's a need or a group you'd like to work with, you do what you can to make a difference."
As Honorary Priest-In-Charge of the Anglican Parish of Barcoo since 1993, member of the Drought Recovery Fund Board for Blackall Tambo Regional Council since 2016 and Crisis Contact Person for the Blackall Tambo Neighbourhood Centre, Rev O'Neill said knowing she is making a difference in people's lives is all the payment she needs.
"I want to stress it's more a community award than an individual award," she said.
"Alone one person can't achieve a great deal, it takes being part of a group to really achieve."
Rev O'Neill who was also the secretary of the Blackall Local Ambulance Committee from 1995-2017 said being the voice and link between the community and the Queensland Ambulance Service helped to deliver high quality health care in rural communities.
"Again it's about working for the better of the community," she said.
"We worked hard to ensure we had the very best equipment we can provide to make life more pleasant for the residents."
Rev O'Neill, who has been the recipient of the Blackall Australia Day Citizen of the Year in both 1996 and 2003, said it is very humbling to be recognised for the work she does.