2018 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards – Elaine Odgers Norling  ... Continued from News page.


Elaine’s first foray into activism began at the early age of eight when she protested against her local baker whipping his horse. Since then, Elaine has marched in protests against the Vietnam and Iraq wars, and changes to the Crimes Act; highlighting a strong commitment to pacifism and social justice.


As an Art Teacher, Elaine initially taught mainstream children in a number of New South Wales Public Schools and then moved on to special education. Her desire to actively contribute to the education of every child regardless of their ability or background, along with her outstanding teaching skills and knowledge earned her the gratitude and respect of students and parents. Furthermore, Elaine’s passionate work and experience in art therapy enriched the lives of many more local students and their families.


Elaine was a founding member of HomeBirth Australia, which offers maximum support and guidance to women who wish to deliver their children at home. Since its inception, Home Birth has grown into a national organisation and Its annual conference boasts large attendance which is indicative of its growing support among mothers.


In 1995, Elaine was asked to speak at the Beijing International Women’s Conference. The focus of the Conference was to assess how women’s lives have changed over the previous decade and to discuss steps to ensure that issues of concern to women remained high on the international agenda. Issues of concern included health, education, and employment, family life with a focus on domestic violence, politics and human rights. All of these issues are integral to Elaine’s drive and motivation to seek universal equality and peace for everyone. In 2002 Elaine was included in the Australian Women’s Honour Roll by CAPOW and the Australian Women’s Register.


In 1999, Elaine became a member of the Copacabana Community Association. Many Coasties would best know her for her role as office bearer and as a former president of the association. Those who know and admire Elaine invariably describe her as a cornerstone of the community, an indefatigable advocate for worthy local causes; a mantle she has worn for many years now. Such is her devotion and attachment to her local community that she has undertaken to publish an updated history of Copacabana. Recently Elaine has been an active campaigner for the Save Winnie Bay campaign to protect headlands and native bushland on the clifftops of Copacabana from ongoing development.

The NSW Senior Volunteer of the Year and overall NSW Volunteer of the Year for the Central Coast is Barbara Galvin, the founder and volunteer with the Shirley Shuttle Outpatient Transport Service. Over the past decade, Barbara has personally funded and raised money to buy four vehicles to transport cancer patients to their treatment across every corner of the Central Coast. The service is run on behalf of the NSW Cancer Council and has helped transport more than 7,000 patients over 1,000,000 kilometres.


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