Member for the Blue Mountains Trish Doyle was delighted to see Mary Waterford recognised in the 2016 Australia Day honours list for her contribution over the past 30 years to the community services and women’s liberation movements.
Ms Doyle said a few years ago Ms Waterford’s colleagues in the community services sector and the trade union movement first decided to nominate the activist for the top honour.
While working as a casual teacher at Hazelbrook Public School, Ms Doyle submitted a nomination on behalf of a number of Blue Mountains women who wanted to make sure Ms Waterford’s hard work was formally recognised.
“When I moved to the Mountains 12 years ago, I got to know Mary through her work with the Blue Mountains Community Resource Network and in her capacity as a local trade union activist,” Ms Doyle said.
“Beyond this, Mary has dedicated her life to fighting for social justice causes – be it through raising awareness of mental health issues, the charities or initiatives she has established, such as Blue Mountains East Timor Sisters or her work with the Women in Prison movement – and she has made a huge, quantifiable difference to the lives of vulnerable and marginalised people locally and abroad”.
“Mary Waterford’s leadership has helped build and strengthen critical services for people with disability, women escaping domestic violence, young and vulnerable parents raising children in the Mountains as well as members of the local Aboriginal community through her relentless campaign to secure a permanent home for the Blue Mountains Aboriginal Cultural and Resource Centre,” she added.
Mayor Mark Greenhill also added his voice to the number of others who supported the nomination.
"If these things are about unsung heroes then Mary is an outstanding example of that. She's not someone who's involved for any other reason than supporting those in need."