This year 103 women have been recognised by their communities for the tireless work they have done in rural and regional NSW and Margaret Waters of Armidale is one of them.
The 2017 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll celebrating rural women was unveiled at the Rural Women’s Gathering in Narrandera.
Margaret Waters was born in Parkes NSW and moved to Armidale at the age of one. After attending school and university there, she taught high school at Cessnock, Katoomba and Chatswood. She also assisted with choirs, musical productions and lifesaving instruction.
Mrs Waters was then transferred to the State Education Office where she prepared teaching resources and worked with syllabus committees. Margaret married an Armidale farmer and has lived here ever since. After retirement she spent eight years full time on the farm, before moving into town at the age of 70.
Throughout her varied life Margaret has been involved in volunteer activities, particularly with choral groups – not easy when living out of town. She’s currently Treasurer of the Armidale Choral Society.
She was also involved with the Blue Mountains Choral Society and Willoughby Symphony Choir. She volunteers for the Armidale Uniting Church, printing weekly material and assisting with office activities.
She’s also very conscious of the amount of time and energy provided by other community volunteers, and since 2006 has coordinated the Alwyn Jones Community Service Award committee.
Mrs Waters said the Alwyn Jones Community Service Award commemorates the contribution of her father to the Armidale community, and is presented as a joint venture between Armidale Uniting Church and the New England Volunteer Awards.
In the past two years Margaret has also been a member of Church Council, and this year is Chair. As they are currently overseeing the appointment of a new minister she is required to work with a range of committees within the local church and the wider Uniting Church.
With the little spare time she has left, Margaret plans to volunteer with Meals on Wheels in the future.
Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair said the 25th Gathering provided the opportunity for women to come together, learn from one another and most importantly, have a voice in their local communities.
“Every year, I am so proud to hear the inspirational stories, and this year is no different. The volunteer work is exceptional and inspiring to people right across our State,” Mr Blair said.
“These dedicated women play a vital role within their local area to improve their communities in many ways, through their dedication and unwavering support to families, charities, organisations and businesses. We acknowledge their important place in our society.”