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Kim Hill, OAM, a seventh generation Wollondilly resident, was acknowledged for ‘service to the community through emergency response organisations’.

Mrs Hill has been a member of the Rural Fire Service (RFS) since 2014 and during the 2019/20 bushfires that swept through Wollondilly and Wingecarribeeshe was assigned to look after the donation of goods. In 2020 the Community Recovery Hub, Balmoral Village Hall was formed with fellow founder, Picton CWA member Kerrie O’Grady – they worked with a team of volunteers to distribute goods to people who had to evacuate or whose homes were destroyed during the fires.

Mrs Hill is both shocked and humbled about the award and acknowledged it was a combined effort.

“I could not have done this without Kerrie,” she said.

“I am so shocked to be nominated for such a prestigious award as there are so many people out there who do so much to support others, I just wish everyone who enjoys putting others before themselves, as I do could receive the same recognition and I thank whomever nominated me for taking the time out of their day to do so,” Mrs Hill said.

“I would also like everyone to know and understand that recovery takes time, and everyone’s recovery journey is different and that journey needs to be respected by all.

“Both Kerrie and I are extremely grateful for the help of many volunteers who helped over many months to support various communities.”

Mrs Hill has also received the National Emergency Medal, 2021.

She has also been recognised as the South Western Sydney Volunteer of the Year;

New South Wales Volunteer of the Year, 2020;

Community Service Award, 2020; Wollondilly Citizen of the Year, 2021, and;

Wollondilly Local Woman of the Year, 2021.

Mrs Hill also is the co-ordinator of the Buxton Memorial Playground.

Valmae ‘Val’ Stewart, OAM, has been recognised for ‘service to communities of Camden and Dubbo’.

Mrs Stewart moved to Camden with her husband, the then minister of Camden Baptist Church, it was in 2008 that an idea to set up a small op-shop – Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard – to raise money for women and children fleeing domestic violence, was formulated.

Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard motto “the community working for the community” has done just that – in 2023 that small op-shop has grown and has helped raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the disadvantaged.

The most recent has been a $100,000 donation to Blue Wren House in the Camden local government area it was opened this year as a safe place for women and children leaving abusive situations.

“Our focus has been to fundraise for organisations which are already serving the community and also help with unfunded projects,” Mrs Stewart previously said.

Mrs Stewart has also been involved in: Women's Ministry, Camden Baptist Church; Bible Teacher/Presenter, Christian Women Communicating International, since 1979; Former board member, Westhaven Association, Dubbo, and founding member, Emmanuel Care Centre, Dubbo, 1988.

For more the 50 years Heather Bieman, OAM, a longtime resident of Camden, has been teaching and sharing the pleasure of music. She was recognised for ‘service to music through teaching’.

Mrs Bieman was surprised to have been nominated, but extremely honoured.

Her love of music was formed in her early years in New Zealand and piano became her favourite instrument. Having migrated to Australia she settled in Camden where she taught music at Camden High School. After a few years she ventured out to further promote her passion for music and founded the popular AGAPE ARTS, formerly Amazing Grace Academy of Performing Excellence in 2004 at the Uniting Church in Camden.

AGAPE – means love in Greek – God love – “it was a great name under the banner of the [Uniting] church” where piano classes were taught and extended to more instruments, teachers and students.

Mrs Bieman was also the coordinator of the Combined Schools Choir, organised the annual Camden Community Carols for 20 years.

“Music is my way of being involved in the community; it give me a connection to people”, Mrs Bieman said.

She has also received acknowledgment from the community including: Camden Citizen of the Year, 2005; Australia Day Arts and Cultural Award, Camden Council, 2021, and; receiving the Paul Harris Fellow, Rotary Club of Camden, 2017.

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