Marlene Owen was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia yesterday for her dedication helping others and her volunteer work in the Gympie community. Picture: supplied
Marlene Owen was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia yesterday for her dedication helping others and her volunteer work in the Gympie community. Picture: supplied

‘Absolutely beside myself’: Gympie legend honoured with OAM

GYMPIE volunteer Marlene Owen was awarded with a prestigious Order of Australia medal during a ceremony at Government House Queensland yesterday.

The OAM recognises Australians who have demonstrated outstanding service or exception achievement, and Mrs Owen received the award for her volunteer work in the Gympie community.

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She was the founding member of Supporting Chemotherapy in Cooloola in 2006, and volunteers with Bush to Beach, Cooloola Gold Lions Club, the Gympie Music Muster, the Gympie Show and Rainbow Beach Droughtrunners.

Mrs Owen was also recognised for he extensive work supporting the homeless.

Marlene Owen at the OAM recipient ceremony at Government House in Brisbane. Picture: Robyn Protheroe
Marlene Owen at the OAM recipient ceremony at Government House in Brisbane. Picture: Robyn Protheroe

Mrs Owen said receiving the award and being able to attend the ceremony at Government House meant a lot to her, but she would “rather be at home helping somebody”.

“It means that obviously the community think I do enough to be recognised,” she said.

“We have an amazing lot of volunteers in our community, I’m only one.

“I just look at all the other volunteers out there that give their time tirelessly, and I accept it on all of their behalf, not just me.

“I take my hat off to each and every one of them, they all do an absolutely amazing job.”

Mrs Owen said the ceremony went for about 10 minutes and was followed by a high tea, which was “beautiful.”

“Because of the social distancing that’s going on we could only have our own little group of people; I was allowed four people other than myself.”

Left to right: Gordon Owen, Marlene Owen and Andrew Owen outside Government House in Brisbane on July 7. Picture: Robyn Protheroe
Left to right: Gordon Owen, Marlene Owen and Andrew Owen outside Government House in Brisbane on July 7. Picture: Robyn Protheroe

Mrs Owen’s husband, Gordon, her son Andrew and two of her close friends joined her in Brisbane.

“They were more excited than I was,” she said.

“I’m not saying I wasn’t excited but I would rather have just went under the radar, and done what I had to do.”

“They were so fortunate to be there for the day.”

After arriving at Government House, Mrs Owen said they were greeted by “wonderfully” by the staff, and she was pleasantly surprised to find out they were also volunteers.

Mrs Owen said she stunned when she found out about the award, and didn’t know who had nominated her.

“I was absolutely beside myself, because you don’t help people or do what you do for recognition, you do it because you can and because you enjoy it.”

Gympie Times


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