Julia's love sets her apart
JULIA Young lives her life by the mantra ‘it is better to give than to receive’.
But last night the Lower Clarence mental health advocate’s commitment to helping others received the recognition it deserves when she was named the Clarence electorate Woman of the Year.
Making the announcement at the Maclean RSL, Clarence MP Steve Cansdell said Julia had devoted a lot of her time towards helping people with a mental illness.
“Julia was a driving force behind ‘School Link’, a program introduced into schools to form a link between teachers and students with mental health issues, providing a greater awareness and access to programs,” Mr Cansdell said.
“She was until recently the chairperson of the North Coast Area Health Service Mental Health Committee but is still committed to working with and encouraging people with a mental illness to believe in themselves, and to help stamp out the stigma that is sometimes associated with mental illness.”
Mr Cansdell said Julia also devoted a lot of her time visiting the elderly and infirm at their homes, the terminally ill in hospital, taking communion to those in need and helping those who ‘slip through society’s cracks’, even though she battles with her own ill health.
“As Julia’s daughter wrote on her application: ‘It’s the gift of giving that sets Julia apart from the rest – she is universally loved and touched by all who are blessed to know her.’ ”
Mr Cansdell said this year’s award had a big response.
“Sadly, there can only be one winner, and Julia is an outstanding choice among an amazing group of selfless, community-minded women in the Clarence electorate,” Mr Cansdell said.THE NOMINEES
JOANNE PETROVIC, Casino – Community Projects Officer at Richmond Valley Council. Delivers above and beyond workplace expectations.
DANIELLE McCLYMONT, Grafton – tireless and dedicated volunteer with the State Emergency Service.
SALLY ROGERS, Eatonsville – dedicated her time and money to rescue and rehouse abandoned and abused pets through her ‘brainchild’ Happy Paws.
JULIA YOUNG, Harwood Island – tireless mental health advocate, as well as devoting a lot of her time visiting the elderly, infirmed and terminally ill. A selfless and dedicated community volunteer.
NANCY BAIN, Maclean – longtime volunteer and strong advocate of the Maclean community. Has been involved in many local organisations over a long period of time.
DIANNE ALLEN, Casino – hard-working volunteer in many sporting and charitable groups and is loved and respected by all.
CHRIS JOHNSON, Grafton – employee at the Department of Community Services (DoCS) who gives her all with great passion and professionalism in difficult circumstances.
SHIRLEY DRUM, Yamba – an outstanding citizen, she exemplifies all this award represents: selfless, long-term service to a diversity of others in her community.
DONNA ADAMS, Casino – devoted a lot of her time to establishing and running Casino Neighbourhood Watch. She has contributed to community safety working many long hours to encourage participation with involvement.
GAY WISEMAN, Yamba – dedicated child and family care nurse, Gay also gives tirelessly to organisations such as Rotary, Surf Life Saving and the Anglican Church.
PATRICIA KAN, Ashby – volunteers many hours a day to bring retired people together through the U3A format holding many and varied committee positions.
LYN DISKON, Grafton – tireless worker involving herself in projects that promote the economic, social and cultural development of the Grafton community as well as mentoring trainees in business.