Precious gift to the community

Jill Madew received her OAM from Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove in Canberra last week. Photo courtesy Irene Dowdy/idphoto.com.au

Jill Madew received her OAM from Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove in Canberra last week. Photo courtesy Irene Dowdy/idphoto.com.au

WHEN Jill Madew received a letter stating that she would receive a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) she was astonished.

"I was astounded how anyone could see my little efforts in Adaminaby to be so worthy of such an award," Ms Madew said.

Ms Madew was one of the driving forces behind the establishment of Adaminaby's Snowy Scheme Museum in a bid to preserve machinery used to build Australia's biggest infrastructure project.

"I was fly fishing at Yaouk when I discovered that the Kennedy family were auctioning off old machinery used in the Snowy Scheme," Ms Madew said.

She then formed a committee with locals who also believed the machines were an asset to the town.

"I spent a lot of time on the telephone, ringing people and asking for donations," she said.

The committee worked tirelessly to raise $40,000 in under two months to purchase many of the items that led to the establishment of the Museum.

As chairwoman for nine years, Ms Madew's energy and drive kept the vision of the Museum alive even through the hardest of times.

"At one time I was told to give up and pack up," she said.

The committee struggled with finances and a location, as no land had been purchased to build the museum on.

After 10 years of gathering items and building funds, the Museum opened it's doors to the public.

Ms Madew now lives in Canberra and is extremely proud of how far the Museum has come.

"Every time I go to the Museum I am inspired by how good it is as it's far better than anything I could have possibly imagined," she said.

"I am so very proud and very delighted to be a patron of the Museum."

Ms Madew was awarded her OAM in Canberra last week.

Her achievements were recognised as a precious gift to the community of Adaminaby as she has helped strengthen the community's pride and wellbeing.

It was mentioned that Ms Madew had helped preserve stories of the iconic industrial social chapter in modern Australian history.

"When I stood there in front of the invited guests and had those words read about me it was very humbling," she said.

Ms Madew encourages locals to visit the Snowy Scheme Museum and see the historical machines for themselves.

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