Julie Anderson’s commitment to volunteering recognised

By Ashlea Witoslawski

Julie Henderson’s life commitment to volunteering has been recognised as she received one of only 100 Lions International President’s Awards for her work in the Merrigum community.

She fondly remembers her first volunteering role as a child, singing at a nursing home in Numurkah.

‘‘We used to sing for the residents to brighten up their day,’’ she said.

Several years on, Mrs Henderson cannot remember a time in her life she has not volunteered in some capacity.

Inspired to help her local community in Merrigum, Mrs Henderson joined Merrigum Lions Club and became secretary in 2016.

As the first woman to join the club, she has continued to push for growth and development since her inauguration.

‘‘I’ve never been someone who sits back and watches the world go by,’’ Mrs Henderson said.

‘‘Just tell me I can’t do something and I’ll show you that I can.’’

Determined to make her town a better place, Mrs Henderson set about completing the Lions Club centennial projects, an initiative in which Lions clubs worldwide strive to complete three major projects for their local community.

Merrigum Lions Club started its projects in June last year.

The Level 1 project was replacing the existing Lions Club signage in town.

The Level 2 project was installing a large gate at the Avenue of Honour; and the Level 3 project was replacing the Merrigum Town Hall roof.

On completion, Mrs Henderson was amazed to receive a letter of recognition from Lions’ international headquarters in Illinois, in the United States.

‘‘I was really overwhelmed and was just amazed,’’ Mrs Henderson said.

‘‘The community has also been really supportive and amazed by the work we’ve achieved.’’

Merrigum Lions Club president John Sullivan said he was delighted by the international recognition.

‘‘Julie puts in a massive effort and a huge amount of work,’’ he said.

‘‘The work being completed on the hall has now allowed more works to be done to make it better, such as a new ceiling and sound deadening.’’

Mrs Henderson said the hall could now ‘‘be returned to its former glory’’.

The Merrigum Lions Club is looking forward to beginning new projects, with Mrs Henderson’s eyes set on a new medical facility for the town.