EAGLEHAWK woman Joyce Trimble has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for her extensive voluntary work serving the Eaglehawk community.
Mrs Trimble started volunteering in 1973 as an assistant at Eaglehawk Primary School, which sparked a life-long dedication to the greater Bendigo community.
Over the past four decades Mrs Trimble has volunteered at the Eaglehawk Swimming Club, acted as secretary of the Eaglehawk branch of the Country Women's Association and been editor of the Eaglehawk Y Women bulletin. She currently volunteers as a committee member of the Eaglehawk Dahlia and Arts Festival and a tutor at '12 Shed Arts', an art organisation for people with disabilities.
Mrs Trimble said she started volunteering as a means of getting involved in the community, and before long people were asking her to take on new roles.
"Other people asked me to do different things and I thought, ‘yes I can do that’!” she said.
"A lot people who know me know I can't say no, but I've only ever done the things I wanted to do," she said.
Mrs Trimble was born in Eaglehawk and raised by a single mother, who had seven children. She said growing up in the 50s with a single parent was often difficult.
"It wasn't easy because there was no government support and many people didn't want to hire a woman on her own," she said.
But her mother was determined to keep the family together and for many years the eight of them lived a transient existence - constantly relocating to wherever in Australia her mother could find work.
The family returned to Eaglehawk when Mrs Trimble was 13 and she has lived in Bendigo ever since.
Mrs Trimble married husband Les when she was 18 and the couple has four children and five grandchildren.
Mrs Trimble said she was overwhelmed by her award.
“It’s a great honour and a little bit humbling to be receiving an award like this," she said.