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Cobar iron ringer receives Order of Australia Medal

Western Plains App

Lily Plass

10 July 2024, 3:40 AM

Cobar iron ringer receives Order of Australia MedalColleen Boucher in her cadet uniform

Cobar iron ringer Colleen Boucher's service to the Cobar community was recognised in the King's Honour Award 2024. 


The Honourable David Hurley informed the recipients on 10 June that they will receive the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM). 


Mrs Boucher is the third Cobar resident to receive this honour. CWA Members Marie Hudson and Dorothy Blacker received the OAM in 2011 and 2014 respectively. 


"I am very proud and overwhelmed. You don't think that people are seeing what you do."


"You don't think about what you do, you just do it," Mrs Boucher said. 


She said she even received calls from Western Australia congratulating her on the award.


"I just couldn't believe the response." 

Mrs Boucher said she never imagined she would receive the OAM. 


"You do these things because you like doing it. You don't look beyond that." 


In January 2024, Mrs Boucher was also named Australia Day Citizen of the Year. 


The OAM recognises her 20-year dedication to the Brennan Centre Senior Citizen Amenities Organisation. 


Mrs Boucher also started volunteering at the Girl Guides almost forty years ago and later became a Girl Guide Leader until 1996.


She has been part of the cadets for 30 years along with her husband, Chris.


"Chris has always been a steadfast support. We support each other. Whatever we do, we do together." 


The couple has been married for 52 years and has three daughters together. 


"Family is everything to me. I love spending time with my grandchildren."


She said working with the Cadets is her most proud achievement.


"It doesn't matter how long you don't see one of those cadets for when they see me, the respect is still there. 


"Watching young people grow and develop leadership skills is a wonderful thing."


"They are so shy when they start and at the end, they can do a speech."


For 27 years she has also been part of the Country Women's Association (CWA). Her roles included president, secretary, treasurer, and handicrafts officer, as well as, vice-president of the CWA Far West Group. 


Mrs Boucher is part of the 5th generation in her family to be born in Cobar. 


Her great-grandfather, George Wells, drove the Cob and Cob between Cobar and Wilcannia. After he retired from coach driving, he became the licensee of the Meadows Hotel. 


She said the community in Cobar is one of a kind. 


"The community is very friendly and supportive if someone is in trouble. You find the community is very generous in supporting that person."


"I have never imagined living anywhere else and could not live in the city," Mrs Boucher said. 


"I love visiting my daughter's block, the wide open space just gives me that peace." 


The date for the reception of the OAM is still to be confirmed.