ABOVE: Maureen Lynch with her award, surrounded by family and friends. Photo: Contributed
Maureen Lynch is a busy woman.
She has been a Richmond Valley Red Cross Emergency Services volunteer team leader since 2007.
Ms Lynch is a community speaker for Red Cross, delivering everything from pillowcase emergency preparedness sessions for primary school children to training aged care service providers on how to be ready for emergency events.
She has provided support and advice for displaced people from the bushfires and more recently, the floods.
As a Red Cross volunteer during the first covid lockdowns, she was part of a program providing psychological first aid and a friendly chat to returning Australians who were quarantined in hotels.
Ms Lynch’s contributions were recognised when she was awarded the 2023 Clarence Electorate Woman of the Year by State MP Chris Gulaptis at Casino Library on Wednesday, March 1.
“I thank you for this honour, but as you know what I do I cannot do alone, and I accept this award on behalf of every person who works in the personal support area of Red Cross,” Ms Lynch said at the presentation.
Under Ms Lynch’s leadership, the Richmond Valley Red Cross Volunteer Team has doubled in size, with new members in Coraki, Evans Head, Swan Bay and Casino.
In 2016, Maureen initiated a whole of community preparedness event called Get in The Know Casino in partnership with NSW State Emergency Service, NSW Rural Fire Service, Fire and Rescue NSW, NSW Police and Richmond Valley Council. This event raised awareness of local disaster risks, the work of emergency services and how to prepare. The event was recognised with a NSW Get Ready Community Award in 2017.
Ms Lynch has been deployed as a Red Cross volunteer to Brisbane, Lockyer Valley, Rockhampton, Townsville, Drake and Tabulam.
She also runs a local food business called All the Best Fine Foods which involves manufacturing, bottling and distributing jars of preserves from Grafton to Byron Bay.