Hunter business has helped Lifeline Newcastle and Hunter honour an Upper Hunter woman who spent years caring for her ill husband and battling cancer while still running a business and supporting community organisations.
Jill Aurisch from Denman was presented with the 2015 Upper Hunter Steel Magnolia Award at a gala luncheon held at Sebel Kirkton Park this month.
The award was made possible thanks to the generous support of Coal & Allied. Hunter photographer and founder of the online community for women, the Sista Code, Melissa Histon, was guest speaker and the event was hosted by PowerFM’s Nicky Ainley. Photography was by Naarah Grace Photography.
Lifeline Newcastle and Hunter Chairman, Gary Webb, said during all of the hurdles in her life Jill has continued to be there for her family, friends, her business and volunteer for Meals on Wheels, the hospital auxiliary, Rotary and other local organisations.
“The Steel Magnolia Award recognises a special woman who has been through adversity yet still finds the courage and inspiration to give back to their community,” Gary said.
Coal & Allied representative Cate Sims spoke at the event, praising this year’s nominees.
“We feel privileged to be able to honour the tremendous efforts of these women, who have shown courage and strength in the face of adversity,” Cate said.
“Their stories are truly inspirational and although there can only be one winner, we commend both Jill and Karen on their contributions to the Upper Hunter community.”
Jill started work straight after school, aged 16, for Kranzes Farmers Services and was employed there until 1972. She and her husband Neville took over the partnership of agricultural machinery and merchandise firm, Denman Dapkos where she is still an active member of the business. She card for Neville when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and has battled her own health problems. In 2001 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and has required further chemotherapy as secondary cancer was detected in her liver and bones.
The mother of three and grandmother of 11 was joined by the other finalist, Karen Hobson from Singleton, who was nominated for helping fundraise $120,000 for Cystic Fibrosis over the last six years.
Gary said the event raised urgently needed funds for the work done by Lifeline Newcastle and Hunter to save the lives of local people through its crisis support and suicide prevention services. He thanked Coal & Allied and all the other business supporters for making the event possible.
Lifeline Newcastle and Hunter saves the lives of around 5,000 local people each year through its crisis support and suicide prevention services but relies on community support for more than 80 per cent of its funding.
Image | Lifeline Newcastle and Hunter Chairman Gary Webb, Coal & Allied’s Cate Sims, Jill Aurisch, Karen Hobson and Coal & Allied’s Vivien Franklin.