24 June 2021

Batemans Bay's history and arts buff, Myf Thompson, awarded OAM

| Albert McKnight
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Myf Thompson standing on balcony with plants

Myf Thompson, from Batemans Bay, was awarded an OAM as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours. Photo: Supplied.

When long-time lover of the performing arts and history, Myf Thompson, was told she’d be nominated for a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) she thought it was a scam.

“I thought they were going to ask me to provide my bank details,” she laughs.

Several months on, she is a happy recipient of an OAM, presented as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to her Batemans Bay community.

Myf says the best part about receiving the medal came from how it was the people she works with who nominated her.

“We all know people who are worthy,” she says. “The fact people bothered to do that is what’s so touching for me.”

Myf is well known in the NSW South Coast region for her work as the Batemans Bay Heritage Museum’s honorary curator, Museums and Galleries of NSW’s peer committee member, a Bay Theatre Players member, and for working with Eurobodalla Seniors Computer Users Group.

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“I love volunteering,” she says. “I think people who don’t volunteer when they have the opportunity to do so miss out on a great deal.

“Many of us just want to be useful in our lives, and volunteering is one way to do that.”

The 73-year-old says helping others by giving up her time makes her feel valued, and while she has the energy, she wants to put it to good use.

“I’ve still got a lot to give and I feel that’s important,” says Myf.

But she also has a passion for history and art.

“So none of it is a sacrifice – it’s all actual indulgence,” she laughs.

One part of history that Myf loves is how it is about telling people’s stories.

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“Everyone has a story,” she says. “A lot of people think they are not relevant or don’t matter, but that’s not true.”

Myf has toured professionally while working in the performing arts, and has found the Bay Theatre Players to be filled with fantastic actors and directors.

“It’s no different from professional theatre – it just doesn’t have the money behind it,” she says.

“We’re lucky to have that kind of skill and commitment in our community.”

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