A much-loved Junee councillor took home the woman of the year award for the Cootamundra state electorate on International Women’s Day.
Councillor Pam Halliburton also wears many other hats in the Junee community – she is chair of the Junee Community Centre, a support person for the Intellectual Disability Rights Service, and was the vice-chair of the Cooinda Court committee.
After a lifetime of dedication and hard work in and for the Junee community, Ms Halliburton’s efforts were recognised last Thursday when she was named the 2018 Local Woman of the Year for the state electorate.
Ms Halliburton said she was nothing short of shocked when she found out about her award.
“One late afternoon, Steph Cooke rang me up and said I'd been awarded this woman of the year award for the Cootamundra state electorate,” Ms Halliburton said.
“I was gobsmacked – I couldn't believe it, but I rallied forth and my husband and I went down to Sydney and had a lovely breakfast with all the other finalists.”
After the shock subsided, Ms Hallburton said she felt very humbled to receive this award.
“I feel very honoured to receive this award, I feel very humbled – I received a big shock, but a lot of people have been telling me that I deserve it,” she said.
“I just do what I do because I love helping out in the community and I get a great deal of joy out of being able to help people.”
The award came as part of the NSW government’s International Women’s Day honours, which saw women from electorates all around the state recognised for their contributions to their local communities.
Ms Halliburton received her award at a state breakfast in Sydney last Thursday, where she was congratulated by both the member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke and the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
Ms Halliburton said the award was all the more special because it came on International Women’s Day.
“It was an honour to go to Sydney and to see all those women who won because they have done some amazing things,” she said.
“It’s really good to see women being promoted in the community in a positive way.”
MP Steph Cooke said Ms Halliburton was a pillar of the Junee community.
“Pam is a force to be reckoned with. She has volunteering in the blood, growing up in Illabo helping her mum at Red Cross events, she’s continued the legacy –serving as secretary of the Junee/Illabo branch since 2011,” Ms Cooke said.
“She is one of those women every community needs.”