Two women from Yenda, Barbara Jefferies and Kay Pellizzer have been selected for the NSW Department of Primary Industries Hidden Treasures Honour Roll for 2020.
The honour roll was launched on Thursday 15 October by the NSW Minister for Agriculture, Adam Marshall MP. The two women were among 104 rural women recognised this year for the contribution they have made through volunteering and they couldn't be prouder.
"At first when I was rung up about it I said 'no not me'," Mrs Jefferies joked.
"But then I was talked around to it because I will admit it is a great honour."
An annual initiative of the Department of Primary Industries' Rural Women's Network, Hidden Treasures recognises the exemplary efforts of women volunteers in NSW.
The little things that make life easier have been the focus of Mrs Pellizzer and Mrs Jeffries' volunteer work over more than 60 years of advocacy for Yenda's community. They have been tireless advocates for Yenda as part of many committees and in particular the Yenda Progress group. New footpaths, street lights, two new water towers, a sewage system, crossing for schools, improvements to amenities at the cemetery have all come about as a result of their involvement with the Progress group.
However, it was after disaster struck Yenda in 2012 that the two women felt they really needed to fight to ensure the town's recovery after massive flooding damaged houses and businesses to the tune of $90 million dollars.
"This time in 2012 we had 11 inches of rain in a week and the creek came down really fast and burst the bank and Yenda got flooded," Mrs Pellizzer explained.
"We had a lot of damage in houses and people weren't getting paid through insurance so we lobbied really hard for help."
Their work ensured funding from council, state and federal governments to upgrade flood gates and put new levels to hold the channel to safeguard the town in future flood events.
Mrs Pellizzer and Mrs Jefferies show no sign of slowing down any time soon either. Mrs Pellizzer who works for the Yenda Producers Cooperative and has done since she was a 17 year old, said she has no desire to step away from working life.
"I can do what I can do and I'm enjoying what I'm doing," Mrs Pellizzer said
"I'll know when it's time but at the moment I don't want to stop because I wouldn't get to meet all the great people that I do."