Nowra Register
28 Jan, 2008

Community worker Dee Carrington was named the Shoalhaven’s Australia Day Citizen of the Year at a ceremony at the Nowra Showground on Saturday. Also at the ceremony, musician Bernadette Morrison was named the Shoalhaven’s Australia Day Young Citizen of the Year. Mrs Carrington won the award for her tireless leadership of the Milton Ulladulla Cancer Outpatients Appeal for the Milton Hospital. The cancer centre will be opened this year after four-and-half years of fundraising. Mrs Carrington was stunned when her name was read out during Saturday’s ceremony and said she was overwhelmed to get such an award.

“It was such a terrific feeling and it makes you feel really great,” Mrs Carrington said.

Mrs Carrington said she would be sharing the award with the greater community. “I belong to a great community and from day one of this appeal there has been a great all round effort from everyone,” Mrs Carrington said. “This award also belongs to everyone who has helped with the appeal.”

Led by Mrs Carrington, the community raised about $500 000 and the centre will open by late March or early April. The centre will progressively provide chemotherapy, consulting rooms for use by visiting specialists and palliative care specialists, psychosocial support services, lymphodema treatment and prosthesis fitting, a cancer information library, a fully equipped kitchen, and a function meeting room for use by cancer support groups and by exercise, relaxation, educational and wellbeing classes and groups.

Mrs Carrington said the centre would be unique in the way it not only looks after patients, but also their families. She said the committee had its up and downs, but because of the support from the community their determination never waned. Winning the citizenship award was special for Mrs Carrington because it was from the Shoalhaven.

“The Shoalhaven is the best place in the world,” Mrs Carrington said.

“Not only is it a beautiful place, but the people are also beautiful.

“People here take care of each other.”

Mrs Carrington was pleased that two of the appeal’s strongest supporters – Federal Member for Gilmore Joanna Gash and State Member for the South Coast Shelley Hancock, who nominated her – were present when she accepted her award.