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Awarded for service to the Community
Entered on roll: 2007
Christine O’Connor was born in Burnie where she still lives. She has spent the past 20 years as an advocate for Tasmanian families dependent on the timber industry for their livelihoods, and North-West families in particular.
Christine’s advocacy for the timber industry and its dependent families and communities has centred on advancing social justice and creating inter-generational equity. She advocates sustainable and renewable forestry to create jobs, giving those working in the industry, and their children, a viable future.
Whenever the need arises, Christine travels to the national capital to represent the North West community. Politicians at both state and national level acknowledge her significant contribution as an advocate for her community. She recognises the ‘multiplier effect’ of industry development, having been in a family business that provided an essential service to the offices of timber, pulp and paper companies in Burnie. Christine was aware that her family income, and that of her employees and suppliers, directly depended on a sustainable timber industry.
Christine currently works part-time in a shop in a small rural community on a tourist route, and is always ready to inform visitors of the pride she has for her region and the State.
Christine continues to make a positive and major contribution to the development of her regional community. She has hosted meetings, forums and tours to advance the region and its people. She has acted as a spokesperson in national, state and regional committees. She has been involved in the development of an empowerment process entitled ‘Women in Timber’ creating skills, knowledge and attitudes for other women to succeed in representing communities and advocating their aspirations.
Christine’s efforts are all voluntary and in many instances have cost her lost income or business opportunities. In some instances, she has used family income to travel to meetings and to represent her community.