Williamstown resident Jennifer (Jenni) Mitchell has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday 2018 honours list, with a Medal of the Order of Australia for a life of service to the community, and to women in rural Victoria.
Ms Mitchell’s service dates back to the 1980s, when the then Office of Rural Affairs Victoria employee helped develop the Rural Women’s Network and was responsible for engaging with various stakeholders to improve services to women in rural Victorian communities.
Not just a resident of Williamstown, Ms Mitchell has been involved in the Williamstown, Newport and Spotswood Residents’ Association, and supported local council programs including Conversations for the Curious, Loom Room Project and Senior Citizens Centre.
Ms Mitchell has spent many years representing and advocating on behalf of residents through community groups and committees at a local government level, including Hobsons Bay City Council’s Reconciliation Advisory Committee.
With a passion for equal opportunity and human rights issues, Ms Mitchell became a founding member of the Hobsons Bay Refugee Network and Get Up Out West reconciliation movement, again gaining recognition as an important voice in the community.
Ms Mitchell has also been a strong voice for women, supported by six years at YMCA Melbourne, where Ms Mitchell developed the ‘Girl Storey’ young women’s program, whilst also a board member at the Victorian Women’s Trust.
When adding ten years as a community worker to the CV, it might not come as a surprise that it is not the first time Jennifer Mitchell has been honoured for service to the community, having previously been recognised as an Honour Roll inductee in 2009.
In congratulating Ms Mitchell on being honoured with a Medal of the Order of Australia, Hobsons Bay Mayor Angela Altair described Jennifer Mitchell as an inspiring, generous and talented citizen.
“Jenni has made an enormous contribution to improving civic life across many areas, including her involvement in the Refugee network, her participation in our local women’s choir and her active participation in civic affairs,” Cr Altair said.
“Jenni’s work on the Conversations for the Curious and Loom Room projects proved hugely popular and beneficial to our community. Local citizens have benefited by having a venue to share their craft skills, make new friends and get involved in stimulating discussions.”
“Ms Mitchell was a strong advocate for community rights in urban planning. Her group helped bring about reforms, improvements and greater transparency in Council’s planning processes enabling greater protection of local amenity.”
“She has devoted countless hours as volunteer on numerous worthy causes. She is an inspiring, generous and talented citizen and her Medal of the Order of Australia is richly deserved.”