By Jessica Anstice
For Elizabeth Wilson, being awarded with an Order of Australia Medal has left her feeling “a little bit shocked”.
The Lang Lang woman was awarded her medal for service to the community, which includes volunteering at the Lang Lang Community Centre, coaching at Lang Lang Tennis Club, and representing groups, interests and businesses on the Lang Lang Town Committee.
“I’m not sure where it’s all come from,” she said.
“I think there are lots of other people who are do lots more than me and are much more worthy than I am – I just do a bit of work in the community so I am shocked.”
She said her passion to volunteer was more than likely carried on from her parents.
“Both of my parents were always very involved in their community,” she explained.
“My father was involved in the Beaufort Tennis Club and my mother was involved in all sorts of things in the town.
“Mum was involved with the Anglican Church in Beaufort and was a Sunday school teacher for a lot of years and I was too. So I was about 14-years-old when I started volunteer work.”
Her love for tennis led her to be heavily involved in the West Gippsland Tennis Association, gaining a life membership.
She has been secretary of the Lang Lang Tennis Club, and is currently the grants and juniors coordinator.
Ms Wilson and her husband John moved from Keysborough to Lang Lang in 1985 because they missed the country-lifestyle.
“We were both from the country and John always had a wish to have a farm so we bought 43-acres in Lang Lang,” she said.
“I started teaching at the primary school in 1988 but I’ve actually been a teacher since 1966.
“My contribution in the community is probably a carryover from teaching because you’re very involved with families in the local community – it is a continuation.”
For 26 years, she has also been on the school council as a staff representative.
Outside of teaching, Ms Wilson is the pavilion chief steward at the Lang Lang Pastoral, Agricultural and Horticultural Association, a volunteer at the Lang Lang Cubs and Scouts, a committee member with the Lang Lang Quilt Show and a member of the Australia Day Committee.
“It’s good to encourage the community to get together and I think it enhances public spirit and pride,” she said.
“It helps people be proud of their local area and their town.”