Local rural women recognised for their community efforts

Bessie Thomas (from near Emmdale) is of two locals named on the 2019 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll. ▪ Photo contributed

Two more rural Cobar women have joined the NSW Government Department of Primary Industries Hidden Treasures Honour Roll.

Well known Canbelego area grazier Sheena Geppert and journalist Bessie Thomas from near Emmdale, were named on the 2019 Hidden Treasures list for the contributions they have made to the rural community.

Sheena was nominated for her work with the 2018 Night for the Farmers event which was attended by over 300 farming family members and the 2019 event, the Shannon Noll concert, which was attended by over 400 people.

She’s also helped to distribute grocery packs to needy farming families.

“These events have been of immense value to our farmers in reassuring them people do care and that support is available,” Sheena’s nomination read.

Bessie was acknowledged for her volunteer work as the communication coordinator for the Youth Voices Leadership Team (YVLT), which is the youth-led voice of Picture You in Agriculture.

Bessie creates social media content for 100 Young Faming Champions to collate their activities and events.

“Volunteering is Bessie’s way of sharing their stories, and also to lay foundations that may provide a bright future for her daughter,” Bessie’s nomination read.

The Hidden Treasures Honour Roll is an  initiative of the Department of Primary Industries’ Rural Women’s Network, and recognises the outstanding efforts of women volunteers in NSW and promotes the valuable role of volunteering to the community.

This important tribute captures inspirational stories, documenting and celebrating the unpaid work of women who are ensuring the viability of so many important and crucial community groups and charities such as emergency services, the arts, environment, social justice, education and sport organisation, and so many others within rural and regional communities.

The growing list of rural women volunteers is a testament to the generosity and hard work of so many women who are publicly appreciated by their community as part of this project.

Past local Hidden Treasure Honour Roll nominees include: Dianne Roche (2016); Dolly Betts (2014); Elsie (Joan) Evans (2013); Sharon Huon (2011); Sharon Snelson and Carla Cowles (2010).

The annual Honour Roll hopes to improve recognition of the important and diverse roles women volunteers play as key participants within NSW rural communities and that the stories of these Hidden Treasures will encourage others to take on volunteering roles.