The 91-year-old from Pascoe Vale received her Order of Australia Medal from the Governor of Victoria, Linda Dessau, in October. Only 12 months previously, Mrs Burgess was at Government House receiving a senior achiever award from COTA, the peak national organisation representing the rights, needs and interests of older Australians.
Mrs Burgess, a member of the Strathmore Uniting Church, received her OAM for services to her local community, particularly the Country Women’s Association which she first joined more than four decades ago.
She said the OAM had come as a complete surprise.
“You do not get involved for that purpose. I just got involved in things because of my children, whether that was scouts, kinder or girl guides,” she said.
“It was just what you did in those days. Women did not work and your family was your life. I certainly would not swap it for now.”
Mrs Burgess said the installation service was a wonderful occasion.
“I suppose I was a little nervous but it was well organised,” she said.
Mrs Burgess has no interest in slowing down her commitment to the CWA and is currently busy making Christmas cakes to raise funds for the organisation.