SPECIAL WOMAN: Melva Thompson shows she can stand out of her wheelchair and is held up by husband George and indigenous artist and good friend Digby Moran.
SPECIAL WOMAN: Melva Thompson shows she can stand out of her wheelchair and is held up by husband George and indigenous artist and good friend Digby Moran. Samantha Elley

Melva is Woman of Year

IT'S been a long journey back from the stroke that Coraki Art Prize co-ordinator, Melva Thompson suffered last year, but as the saying goes "you can't keep a good woman down".

It seemed only fitting that at yesterday's International Women's Day Melva be recognised, not only for her tenacity and strength of character as she learns to walk again, but also for her community spirit.

The 2013 Clarence Electorate "Local Woman of the Year" award was presented to Melva by Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis yesterday at a morning tea held in the Coraki Youth Hall.

"(The award) is about having an interest in the community," he said.

"With the work Melva has done with the Coraki Art Prize, the Coraki Hospital and many other community groups, she has shown this."

A very emotional Melva accepted the award and a beautiful bunch of flowers thanking the community she has worked so hard for.

"This award is for Coraki, not for me as Coraki has helped me to find a way to do the activities I've done," she said.

At the morning tea, Melva announced that the next Coraki Art Show will be at the 2014 Australia Day celebrations, which hopefully will be held in Coraki.

Melva was surrounded by family, close friends, including indigenous artist Digby Moran and Richmond Valley Council general manager John Walker.



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