Daphne Rich has received an Order of Australia Medal.
Daphne Rich has received an Order of Australia Medal.

OAM: How retiree is making CQ town a nicer place to live

BLACKALL retiree Daphne Rich has been a part of a number of organisations over the years that have helped mould the town into a "nicer place to live".

The 84year-old was instrumental in the opening of Barcoo Retirement Village in 1985, Blackall's first retirement village. She has served as a committee member since 2004, formally holding a secretary role since 1982, and received a Service Award in 2014.

"It has definitely grown since it first opened," she said.

"We started off with about 10 units and now it covers a huge area, there are dozens of units there today.

"There are lots of people who have always lived here in Blackall and there are a lot of people on properties outside of town who don't want to leave the area when they get too old.

"I don't know if I will ever end up there, but it is a fantastic place for the people who live there."

Mrs Rich was also heavily involved with the Isolated Children's Parents' Association, becoming Queensland's first secretary/treasurer in the 1970s.

"Our mission was to make life easier for people living in the outback," she said.

"Everybody knew there were big problems in the bush. The bush has gone through a lot of very bad periods but the ICPA has always been there."

Mrs Rich moved to Blackall from Toowoomba in the 1950s to work as a governess. It was in Blackall that she met the love of her life, Fred, and went on to raise four children.

Over the years she has been involved in many community groups. She was awarded Blackall-Tambo Regional Council Citizen of the Year in both 1994 and 2018.

Mrs Rich has been named as one of this year's recipients of an Order of Australia Medal for her service to Blackall.

She was surprised when she heard the exciting news and didn't quite believe it at first.

"You do what you do because you want to and because there is a need," she said.

"I want to thank the people of Blackall for being so friendly and welcoming all these years. We all make the town a better place to live in."


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