Derwent Valley Council senior citizen of the year

MORE than a decade of community volunteering by New Norfolk resident Irene Barnes has been acknowledged in her being named the Derwent Valley Council’s Australia Day Senior Citizen of the Year for 2024.

Mrs Barnes has volunteered with the Corumbene Auxiliary for 15 years and has been its president for 12 years. She is a past member of the Lachlan Community Hall Association and was a foundation member of the Derwent Valley Autumn Festival Committee.

Irene Barnes accepting her award.

Accepting the award on Australia Day, Mrs Barnes said she had adopted the following philosophy as a young girl in Germany: “Were I to know that the world might perish tomorrow, I would still plant my apple tree today.”

This positive approach to life can be seen in all she does, including the raising of funds to improve the experience of residents at Corumbene through the purchase of new equipment and furniture and activities such as parties, events, excursions, gifts and more.

The Corumbene Auxiliary support the Corumbene Wellbeing and Lifestyle team with special events such as shows and concerts, as well as prizes and gifts for special occasions such as Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter and Christmas.

Mrs Barnes has been described as the “visionary” of the Auxiliary and she was the key driver for the implementation of two important projects at Corumbene. The first was a multi-faith chapel at Corumbene and the second was the “Tree of Life” artwork at the front of Corumbene.

In presenting the Senior Citizen of the Year Award, Derwent Valley Council mayor Michelle Dracoulis said Mrs Barnes and her husband Vic had given much to the Derwent Valley community in their time here.

Main picture: Vic and Irene Barnes on Australia Day after Irene received her award.

See more Derwent Valley and Central Highlands news online and read our print edition every second Friday.

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