Former Narrandera major Jenny Clarke says she was “overwhelmed” and “humbled” to find out she made the Queen’s Birthday honour’s list.
Cr Clarke was recognised for her long commitment to Narrandera Shire and service in local government. A former mayor and deputy mayor, she is currently serving her fourth term on council.
Cr Clark previously served on council between 1995 – 1991, 1999 – 2004 and 2012 – 2012.
The longtime community advocate says she never expected to receive the top honour.
“I just feel a little bit overwhelmed at the moment. It’s an honour just to be nominated but to actually receive the award is something else,” she said.
“I’m truly humbled actually.”
Having grown up and raised a family in the shire, she says she takes pride in Narrandera and its surrounding villages.
“I do love getting out and seeing what all of our towns have to offer,” she said.
When she first ran for council in 1991, Cr Clarke says she was motivated by a desire to see change and growth across the area.
“I did a speech one day at a woman’s conference and I was asked what inspired me to join council,” she said.
“To be honest, back in ‘91 I wasn’t too happy with how things were going. I thought I could do a better job … I soon learned there was a lot more too it than that. If you want to achieve things on council, you have to work with and lobby your colleagues.”
She says she’s proud of the council she now sits on. Cr Clarke says there wouldn’t be too many faces in the shire she doesn’t recognise.
Throughout her history and service, she could pick a few moments that still made her proud.
“We purchased the disused Masonic Hall and turned it into the Arts and Community centre. It’s been a great success,” she said.
“Another moment that makes me proud is getting the opportunity to lead a shire delegation to Sydney to meet with the then-Minister for Aging and Disability to advocate for funding for a supported accommodation for people with disabilities.”
In due course, the funding was provided and the facility is fully occupied today.