Long-term Oxfam volunteers Dr Jennifer Court MD and Mr Donald Gobbett were recently awarded an Order of Australia medal “for service to the community through charitable organisations” by the Governor General for the annual Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Jenny has been involved with Oxfam for 40 years as a volunteer and a donor. She has been a member of the state committee since the 1980s, including co-chair; a member of the National Executive of Community Aid Abroad; a long term member of the North Adelaide/Prospect Oxfam Group; and, for the past 12 years, an active member of the Oxfam Bookshop.
Don’s service to overseas development has extended for almost 50 years and he has been a donor and volunteer for Oxfam Australia for over 20 years. Don’s involvement with the Oxfam Bookshop started in the late 1990s and he was Chair of the Bookshop Group for almost a decade. What began as a volunteer-run once-a-month book sale is now an operation that runs four days a week and raises over $150,000 per annum.
Jenny and Don were both very humble about their achievements.
“When on receiving an award one is asked to “say a few words“, it is hard not to respond with clichés. But I will try,” said Jenny. “My first involvement with Oxfam, or Community Aid Abroad as it was known, was when my 5-year-old daughter accompanied me in the Walk Against Want. We were regularly kept in touch thereafter with news of campaigns and reports from the field.
My support of the organisation was also influenced by my father, who for as long as we could remember had sponsored a family in India; a trip to India as a very vulnerable 16 year old and having my own children –which made the thought of children going hungry even more appalling. For some years while studying medicine my goal was to work overseas for an organisation like Oxfam. This did not eventuate so volunteering has been some consolation.”
Don , who also features in the video above, said the community depends on volunteers.
“I feel deeply honoured to receive the award but I also recognise that is on behalf of other volunteers who work within the organisation,” said Don
I find it very rewarding working with others who are like-minded and have similar interests and commitments. I think the community depends on volunteers enormously. My suggestion is to anyone who is thinking of volunteering, find something that you are passionate about, and go for it”.
Oxfam Australia is proud to recognise the contributions of Jenny and Don to their communities, alongside all of our wonderful volunteers. Next time you are in Adelaide, be sure to pop into the bookshop and say hello!
Oxfam Secondhand Bookshop: 7 Hutt St, Adelaide | Open Tues, Fri, Sat 9am – 5pm | Facebook