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Awarded for service to the Community
Entered on roll: 2007
Jill Burbury was born in New Norfolk in 1941. She is described as a ‘quiet achiever’ who enters into and actively supports community life on every level.
In the 1970s, Jill became very involved in a local group dealing with the development of tourism in the Oatlands area after another rural depression. She joined the Oatlands Council (now the Southern Midlands Council) and served as a member for seven years. Later the formation of the Heritage Highway Tourism Region became the major focus.
Jill represented the Oatlands Council on the Regional Library Committee, then as the municipal representative on the State Library Board. From this her involvement in the formation of the Online Access Centres became a “passion” both in the Southern Midlands and through the statewide body, the Online Access Centre Association of Tasmania. Jill has also helped with suicide prevention programs and the Midlands youth initiative project, MILE.
In the early 1990s, Jill served on Tasmanian Government health forums as a representative for the Southern Midlands. This involved discussing the health needs in different areas and reporting back to the Department of Health. She was a member of the Rural Support Tasmania Board (now the Rural Financial Counselling Service Tasmania) for seven years.
After the tragic death of her daughter, Georgina, in 1985, Jill became the Tasmanian contact for Compassionate Friends, an international self-help group for parents and families whose children pre-decease them. Unlike other states Tasmania, up until this point, had never had an active Compassionate Friends group. Jill became a vital person to turn to for any Tasmanian losing a child or sibling and needing to talk to an understanding person.
Jill’s interest in older people resulted in her being selected as a member of the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s Positive Ageing Consultative Committee, co-ordinated by the Seniors Bureau. Jill has been actively involved in Seniors Week in the Midlands and served on many committees concerned with seniors.
In order to preserve life stories of those living in the Midlands, Jill has conducted a multitude of interviews with seniors for the Oatlands local FM radio station.
One of the memorable features of a trip along the Midlands Highway, particularly for children, is seeing the topiary plants portraying animals, birds and trains. Jill was instrumental in instigating a fitting memorial to the creator of the topiaries, Jack Cashion, and accessing funding for the topiaries to be rejuvenated, including extending the project into Oatlands. This is a perfect story to describe Jill’s involvement in the community. Jill is a woman who sees something that needs doing in the community – and makes it happen.