ELIZABETH Carr does not do anything in life without having a “goose bump moment”.
The Perth resident’s decision to be involved in various not-for-profit organisations throughout the years have been inspired by projects and causes that have been close to her.
Ms Carr’s voluntary contributions to the health, aged care, education and social services sectors via her work with iCare Foundation, South Metropolitan Tafe WA and Kokoda Track Foundation to name a few, were today recognised with her being appointed a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia.
Her parents’ declining health put her on the path to helping others.
“For me, there has to be a goose bump moment,” she said.
“One of them was in the 1990s my father passed away with macular degeneration, and nobody knew about the disease then and then I got asked to help form an inaugural board and to set up a foundation around it.”
The Macular Disease Foundation was formed in 2001, two years after Ms Carr’s dad passed away and where she served as inaugural director.
In 2005, Ms Carr’s mum was then diagnosed with the same disease.
“Mum passed away in 2010, but at least then we knew what was wrong, we knew what options there were, the ophthalmologists were much stronger and there’d been more work put into research,” she said.
Ms Carr’s 10-year term as the foundation’s non-executive chair ended in September last year but she continues as non-executive director of the Kokoda Track Foundation, another “goose bump moment”.
“That goose bump moment was that my dad fought in Papua New Guinea so that was the connection,” she said.
“I put a group together of family and friends and we walked the track, which was fantastic, then I was asked to join the foundation.”
Ms Carr is still open for more of those moments.
“There’s still so many things you can do,” she said.
“I didn’t like the show but I loved the title 3rd Rock From the Sun, because here we are just this big ball out in the middle of nowhere spinning around, so why wouldn’t you want to make easier for others?”
“I look at the disability organisation I chair and there’s about 50 women with severe mental disabilities from birth and you think ‘they didn’t sign up for that, or their families’ so how do we ensure compassion?”
West Perth’s James Hall was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to the community through support for sustainable social welfare outcomes, and to the not-for-profit sector and John Bryant Gannon from Perth was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his service to cricket.