10 June 2023

Moruya volunteering stalwart Pam Hamory receives OAM but won't rest on laurels

| Claire Sams
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woman presenting award to another woman

Pam Hamory (left) with then-Eurobodalla Shire Council Mayor Liz Innes after winning the Eurobodalla Local Hero Award for 2021. Photo: Eurobodalla Shire Council.

Starting from her days in school, Pamela ”Pam” Hamory has spent much of her life being hard at work helping others.

Now, in recognition of her five decades of work, she has received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the General Division in the 2023 King’s Birthday Honours.

“I’m gracious and humbled,” the Eurobodalla resident said.

Her interest in volunteering started when she was in year 5 and students were asked by their teacher to help with gardening.

“I volunteered mainly to get out of working in the shop,” Ms Hamory said.

“But I enjoyed that I had the responsibility of the key to get in and to get the gear out and then water the gardens and put the gear away, and so on.”

When the students were asked to continue looking after the garden when they returned to school the following year, Ms Harmory kept at it.

“That was where I got the idea of helping others or being of value to improving our society,” she said.

“So when you go into another community – and that’s what I’ve always done, no matter where I’ve been posted as a teacher or a principal – you contribute to that community to the best of your ability, or you foster those who can do something worthwhile in their community.”

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The long-term local has taken on a wide variety of unpaid positions in the five decades since.

“I moved to the Eurobodalla in 2002 and I already had a track record for volunteering with the Red Cross and the Rural Fire Brigade, after-school sports and feeding the poor in Kings Cross in Sydney, those sorts of things,” she said.

“When you have that passion for helping others, it was a natural thing for me to look for things that would suit my personality when I came to Eurobodalla.”

In the years since, she also has had roles in local radio, the Australasian Alpaca Breeders Association, the Eurobodalla District Show, the Eurobodalla Amateur Beekeeping Club and Eurobodalla Gourmet Gardeners and more.

She also founded and led the Eurobodalla Spinners and Weavers.

Ms Hamory was named Eurobodalla’s Local Hero for 2021, and has received other awards.

“Life is interesting, and more so in the Eurobodalla Shire because there’s just so many talented people here,” she said.

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Unpaid work brought with it a chance to build and improve on the community one lived in, Ms Hamory said.

“When you’re working with volunteers, you have a camaraderie that you just don’t get in a workplace scenario,” she said.

“You have your colleagues and clients, and that’s fine.

“But when you’re working in a volunteer scenario, you’re all in it together, no-one’s getting paid and everyone is appreciated for whatever you can do within your own capabilities.”

Looking towards the future, Ms Hamory said she would continue her volunteer work.

“I’m still with the Red Ross and the Eurobodalla Show Society, and I contribute still to the garden club,” she said.

“I still teach spinning and weaving every Wednesday, and I teach croquet on Tuesdays; that all keeps me interested in life.

“Plus, whenever I can, I contribute to the amateur beekeepers because I’ve kept bees for over 40 years. I want to keep going.”

Anyone can nominate another Australian for an Order of Australia appointment by visiting www.gg.gov.au.

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