28 February 2024

'We are very lucky to have people like Barbara' - community hero named Kiama's Woman of the Year

| Dione David
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Red Cross Jamberoo President Barbara Adams

This smiling face is well known in the Jamberoo community, but the impact of Barbara Adams’ deeds travels far and wide. Photo: Jamberoo Red Cross.

As the Jamberoo Red Cross Branch president for a decade and a half, Barbara Adams is a treasure to her community, and now the greater Illawarra knows it.

Member for Kiama Gareth Ward last week named the mother, grandmother and community volunteering hero the 2024 Kiama Electorate Woman of the Year.

Mr Ward described Barbara as an “instrumental and well respected person in the Jamberoo community”.

“Barbara Adams is the epitome of service above self, a great example of the Red Cross mission of service and is an extremely deserving recipient of the 2024 Kiama Woman of the Year Award … I am delighted that she is being recognised with this prestigious award,” he said.

“From monthly markets to craft days, barbecues, cake bakes, raffles and bingo, the Jamberoo Red Cross group is one of our region’s most active branches which has been recognised through a series of awards for their charitable and fundraising efforts.

“Whilst I wouldn’t call Barbara a ‘quiet’ achiever, she certainly knows how to get things done. Barbara is never afraid to put her best foot forward and rally the support needed to further a good cause. We are very lucky to have people like Barbara; she is a fine example of a great community contributor and someone who continually works hard in the service of others.”

READ ALSO Jamberoo Red Cross fundraising blitz beats out more than 150 other branches across the state

Barbara is no newcomer to volunteering in the Jamberoo community, having been very active in the Jamberoo Australian Rugby League Football Club as a volunteer and proud parent for many years.

She was quick to share the glory of this award.

“I felt both excited and privileged to accept the award on behalf of the Jamberoo Red Cross and the Jamberoo community,” she said.

“I wouldn’t be in this position if I didn’t have my ladies’ support and the support of this beautiful town. I would like to thank the Jamberoo community for its invaluable support to the Red Cross.

“Whenever I go out to the community, they’re always happy to supply whatever’s needed or help out to get the job done.”

Among the work Barbara has been most proud of during her tenure as Jamberoo Red Cross president was providing financial aid to Batemans Bay after the Black Summer bushfires, supporting a parenting program in Nowra, providing trauma teddies for young people experiencing trauma and supporting the Red Cross Telecross program, which ensured people who lived alone and who might go unnoticed in the event of injury or illness, received “a phone call each day to check you’re OK”.

All of NSW’s 93 electorates are invited to run an annual women’s awards program to recognise an outstanding local volunteer, artist, or community figure.

READ ALSO Val urges others to join Red Cross and discover ‘amazing’ life of a volunteer

Barbara said it was “always nice” to be recognised, but there was no greater reward than the work itself and the relationships she built at the Red Cross.

“I enjoy it. There’s a real sense of camaraderie with the ladies of the Red Cross and the people of Jamberoo,” she said.

“It’s nice to be recognised, but it’s all about helping people, and I know the funds we’ve raised over the years have certainly done that for a lot of people.”

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