Ann Spillane of Lismore Heights,with her Lismore Electorate Woman of the Year certificate for services to the community.
Ann Spillane of Lismore Heights,with her Lismore Electorate Woman of the Year certificate for services to the community. Cathy Adams

Big surprise for woman of year

ANN Spillane does her work for the love of serving her community, so being named the Lismore Electorate Woman of the Year yesterday came as a big surprise.

Mrs Spillane was given the award yesterday by Lismore MP Thomas George.

Only three months ago she received recognition by the Pope with a Papal Honour (Benemerenti Medal) for exceptional service to the Catholic Church.

However, Mrs Spillane said she did not understand why she received so much recognition for doing something she saw as just her way of living life.

"It's my love of community and my love of my church and my faith that sustains me and has all my life," Mrs Spillane said.

"Why this is a surprise to me is that, for me, giving and helping in the church and community is always and has always been a part of my life.

"I thought that was normal and a very ordinary thing to do, so naturally this has continued as a normal thing to do throughout my life and I continue to do so."

Currently president of the Friends of St Vincent's Hospital in Lismore - a position she has held for the past 25 years working five days a week - Mrs Spillane has provided a vital service in assisting patients and staff, raising funds to purchase equipment for the hospital and supporting some capital works.

Mr George said Mrs Spillane's work and commitment made her a worthy recipient of the award.

"Ann is a household name, not only in the community of Lismore but in the wider community because so many people pass through the health system and in some way or another their lives have been touched by Ann," Mr George said.

"To have a person of Ann's calibre turn to assist you just makes it so much easier.

"Organisations need someone leading them and she's proved that leadership and inspiration over the years.

"Today is just a small recognition of Ann's contribution."

For Mrs Spillane, though, she couldn't do her work without support.

"No individual can do this without the support of many people and I get that support, the staff support and board support, so that makes what I do so much easier," she said.

Mrs Spillane will now represent the Lismore electorate in the State award to be announced later this year.



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