Local honoured with King’s Birthday OAM

Colleen Boucher was named in the King’s Birthday Honours List.

Local Colleen Boucher, Australian cricketer Glenn McGrath, AFL player Bachar Houli, comedians Hamish Blake and Jimmy Rees and former politicians Daniel Andrews, Mark McGowan and Shelley Hancock, along with 728 other Australians, were recognised in this year’s King’s Birthday 2024 Honours List.

The list of recipients was announced on Monday by the Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret) who will present Colleen with her Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) and the other recipients with their medals later this year.

The award recognises Colleen’s contribution to the Cobar community including her 20 year involvement with the Brennan Centre Senior Citizen Amenities Organisation (of which she currently serves as treasurer) which is just a small part of her long history of dedicated service to Cobar.

Colleen started volunteering at school with the Red Cross and later when her daughters joined the Girl Guides in 1985, she became a Girl Guide Leader, a position she held until 1996.

After Guides Colleen joined her husband Chris as a serving member of the 221 Australian Army Cadet Unit and became the unit’s Captain and Commanding Officer in 2008 (a role she still holds today).

She’s been a volunteer and Legatee Member with Griffith Legacy for 15 years and also involved with the RSL Sub Branch (she currently holds the role of treasurer).

“The Cadets links you to the others. It links you to the Returned Services League, which in turn links you to Legacy,” Colleen said.

“I love working with kids and I also enjoy sitting down and talking to war widows and listening to their stories.”

Colleen was also recognised for her almost 27 years involvement with the Cobar branch of the Country Women’s Association (CWA) where she’s held the president, treasurer, secretary and handicrafts officer roles as well as being vice president of the CWA Far West Group.

“It’s such an amazing organisation and when you join you see what they do is very widespread.”

Colleen said she was very honoured to be the third Cobar CWA member to receive an OAM along with Dorothy Blacker who received her award in 2014 and Marie Hudson in 2011.

“It’s been very overwhelming and even more so when I found out later that Kain Neale had nominated me,” Colleen said.

“You don’t do these things without community and family support and I really could not have done a lot of it without Chris.

“It was a lovely surprise and very rewarding,” Colleen said.

Any individual or group can nominate an Australian citizen for an award in the Oder of Australia.

Nominations need to outline how the nominee has made a significant contribution to the community.