We proudly announce that Barbara Spalding, U3A Life Member and former Office Manager has been awarded "Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the General Division" "for significant service to public administration in Victoria to the community particularly in the areas of welfare & education". A most richly deserved award and a wonderful achievement!
Barbara's time in Public Service saw her rise to management in a stellar career that spanned many years and took her to many countries where her expert input was highly valued. Barbara was a strong public advocate in her dedication to social welfare and education and her voluntary roles in community organisations such as Reichstein Foundation, Brotherhood of St Laurence, Overseas Service Bureau, and Asylum Seekers' Resource Centre, also reflected this passion. At a National Conference in Melbourne some 2 years ago, an interstate participant commented when hearing Barbara's name mentioned, 'Barbara Spalding was the best public servant Victoria ever produced'!
After retirement, Barbara joined U3APP around 2005 as an office volunteer, and also served on the Management Committee.
She took the position of Office Manager from 2008 to 2011 (incl.), taking over from Joan Ashbolt who was in the initial role when U3A was first established in the City of Port Phillip. Barbara became indispensable in the office and she attended most days. She took on all the varied roles in a calm and most efficient manner but always had time to listen to any problems volunteers may have. When mailouts needed to be done, Barbara made certain there were chocolate biscuits to help the volunteers maintain their enthusiasm! Barbara identified, designed, and produced a manual of procedures that served the office volunteers until the systems became computerised.
Everyone at U3APP sends their warmest thanks and congratulations to Barbara for her significant contribution to the community and to our U3A.