IT took an award for people to appreciate all the many and varied initiatives in which Margaret Keech was involved.
Her interests range from sports and health to the arts, schooling and Scouting.
Margaret said being shortlisted for the Zonta Club of Bendigo’s Women of Achievement Award in 2017 had brought her contributions to the community to the fore.
“[People] just said, how do you do all these things?” Margaret said.
Fellow nominee, Dr Katherine Legge, had similar experiences following last year’s International Women’s Day dinner in Bendigo.
People had known she was involved in the Discovery Science and Technology Centre, and that she was a physics professor at La Trobe University.
But the recognition had people asking, “What are you actually doing?”
They were keen to learn more.
“It feels strange to be awarded for doing what you feel needed to be done,” Katherine said.
But she was appreciative of the interest the nomination had garnered for projects close to her heart.
Inspiration and celebration were among the responses the Zonta Club of Bendigo had hoped to encourage when it created its Women of Achievement Award.
Now in its third year, the award recognises women who have made significant contributions to their community for many years.
“There are women out there in a wide range of roles. It’s just seen as the norm,” Zonta Club of Bendigo spokeswoman Sue Clarke said.
“We really need a culture in Bendigo and central Victoria where it’s okay to nominate and it’s okay to be nominated.”
She said the Women of Achievement award was the first accolade 2017 recipient Kaye Graves had received for her work in the community.
This year’s awards will be presented at the Zonta International Women’s Day dinner on March 6.
Nominations close on February 22.
For more information, visit www.zontabendigo.org.