Medal for doing her bit

Coolum resident Margaret Wilke. Photo: Barry Leddicoat/175278
Coolum resident Margaret Wilke. Photo: Barry Leddicoat/175278

It’s difficult to get Margaret Wilke to talk about herself.

The Coolum Beach woman is much more comfortable waxing lyrical about her beloved Country Women’s Association.

It was her dedication to the nation’s largest organised women’s group which resulted in her being honoured with an Order of Australia medal this week, and she is quick to give credit to the women involved in the organisation.

Since joining 38 years ago, Mrs Wilke has held a variety of positions in the Coolum, regional and state branches and shows no signs of slowing down.

“I started off with a friend and we went to the CWA for a bit of a giggle,” she said.

“I thought I’d learn some handicrafts or cooking skills or something like that, but I have just learnt so much. There are so many facets to the CWA, it is amazing.”

The aim of the CWA is still to help and assist those where they can, particularly women in rural and regional areas , and Mrs Wilke has been a driving force towards that aim. But she sees it as part of her duty to her community.

“It keeps you in touch with your community and the CWA, that can mean worldwide, because we are affiliated with the organisation Women of the World,” she said. “It’s about improving the lot of those who need a little help. It’s always been about that.”

Mrs Wilke was awarded the OAM for her service to women through the Queensland Country Women’s Association and she said the honour also recognised all the women who shared in her views.

But still, the award has managed to shock this woman, who is someone you’d imagine is not easy to shock.

“I was absolutely astounded when I got the letter to announce I was in the running for the honour, absolutely astounded,” she said. “And when I got the letter to say that the award had been confirmed, I could not believe what I was reading.

“And my family, they are absolutely chuffed about it. My son was here when I received the letter and I thought he would jump over the phone he was so excited. I thought he had won it and not me.”

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