Mandurah: Two local identities appointed Members of the Order of Australia

Liz Butson (left) and Jo Barker. Picture: Jon Hewson
Liz Butson (left) and Jo Barker. Picture: Jon Hewson

TWO well-known local women have been appointed Members of the Order of Australia in the 2019 Day Honours List for their services to medicine and the Guides.

Emeritus Professor Jo Barker has been recognised for her significant contribution to medicine and medical education, particularly in the field of occupational therapy.

FULL LIST OF PERTH’S AUSTRALIA DAY HONOURS RECIPIENTS

Former local Girl Guide leader and later State Commissioner Liz Butson is honoured for service to youth through Guiding and to the WA community.

Professor Barker joined Curtin University in 1979 as head of occupational therapy.

She was the first female board member of Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and later its first female chair.

She was also the first Australian president of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists.

After retiring in 2001, Professor Barker served as chair of Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, of which she is a life member, for 10 years.

In 2008 she was awarded the Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Alcoa Business Excellence Award for Enterprising Women and in 2012, the John Curtin Medal for leadership in occupational therapy and an extensive contribution to developing cultural and education opportunities in Mandurah.

Professor Barker chaired the Independent Public Schools Board for John Tonkin College between 2012 and 2015 and since 2016 has been an advocate for Alzheimer’s WA, raising 67,000 for a sensory garden at a local care home for dementia patients.

Parents of young Girl Guides in the 1980s and 1990s would remember the Baden Powell hall on Anstruther Road, since replaced by a supermarket, where Mrs Butson ran Girl Guide meetings for many years.

Mrs Butson was unit leader of the Ranger Guides from 1971 to 2003 and Mandurah Adventure Guides in 2005.

Later she was State Commissioner between 2006 to 2011 and is still a member of the WA Awards committee.

Mrs Butson was a board member of Peel Health Foundation board from 2013-2016 and a committee member of the Rotary International Youth Exchange committee in 2000.

She is president elect of the WA branch of Soroptimists International and was Mandurah president from 2013-14.