OAM awarded for service to agriculture and community

Sheryl Backhouse recognised this Australia Day for her service to sub-tropical fruit growing

Horticulture
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Sheryl Backhouse has been named a Member of the Order of Australia for her work in agriculture and community organisations.

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Sheryl Backhouse has been a member of the Sub-Tropical Fruit Club of Queensland for 17 years.

Sheryl Backhouse has been a member of the Sub-Tropical Fruit Club of Queensland for 17 years.

MOUNT Samson local Sheryl Backhouse has been named a Member of the Order of Australia for her work in the sub-tropical fruit growing industry, and to the community.

Ms Backhouse organises the Sub-Tropical Fruit Club of Queensland, the Queensland Bushfood Association and the Queensland Skeptics Association.

Ms Backhouse said she was honoured to receive the award but maintains a raised eyebrow.

"I am honoured to feel that someone close to me has taken the time and effort to put my name forward for this award," she said.

"Of course, when I first heard about the award, being a skeptic, I looked at data tallied by the Australian Bureau of Statistics over the past decade and saw that men are twice as likely to win one of the four General Division Awards than women so my sense of humour thought they needed another woman for balance."

Ms Backhouse said her commitment to community organisations and groups was about leaving a "legacy" should could be proud of.

"When I retired from the paid workforce, I had time to join groups whose interest I shared. A few months later, they need a secretary, a treasurer, and then before you know it, you are organising the group," she said.

"As a member of a group, it brings you into contact with a lot of people whom you would not otherwise have had the chance to come across so I can highly recommend anyone to do so."

Ms Backhouse purchased land in Mt Samson in 1979 with her husband Bob, immediately getting involved with the community to help maintain the Cedar Creek Public Hall.

She discovered the 1925 building was still in the names of its original trustees and initiated the incorporation of the property to change the deed title and supply the building with toilets, kitchen, water tank, heating, a fresh coat of paint and insurance. This process kickstarted her life in community organisations.

Ms Backhouse said she enjoys her life with husband Bob and encourages people to make the most of their time alive.

"I love country life, enjoy the arts of Asia and live with thousands of technical books," she said.

"Life's good, hope yours is too - life is what you make it.

"As the saying goes: You only get out of life what you put in."

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