Former Subiaco Mayor Heather Henderson receives Medal of the Order of Australia

Heather Henderson & 'Tilly' Picture: Bruce Hunt www.communitypix.com.au   d490276a
Heather Henderson & 'Tilly' Picture: Bruce Hunt www.communitypix.com.au d490276a

FROM sitting on Subiaco Council for more than 25 years to teaching children with disabilities, Heather Henderson has well and truly served her community.

The Jolimont resident, who retired as mayor in October 2017 after nearly 13 years, has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).

FULL LIST OF PERTH’S AUSTRALIA DAY HONOURS RECIPIENTS

“I’m honoured and delighted, but it was a surprise to me,” Mrs Henderson said.

Mrs Henderson was named the City’s first Freeman in nearly 15 years in 2017.

She spent 13 years as a Subiaco councillor, and then put her hand up for Mayor in 2005 after her neighbour encouraged her to apply.

“It was something I was particularly interested in but I didn’t have a stepping stone like many people do, so I just came in cold,” she said.

“It was the start of a very long career.”

After serving as Mayor for 12-and-a-half years, she decided to step away.

“Receiving an award like this, it’s important to acknowledge I’ve had tremendous support from lots of councillors over my time in local government – so I think it’s an all-round achievement.”

Before her mayoral duties, Mrs Henderson helped her community in a different way, as a teacher and principal for 24 years.

She worked as a visiting teacher at the Centre for Inclusive Education for three years, and worked as Deputy Principal at the former Kim Beazley School from 1986 to 2005, where she also taught until retiring in 2010.

“I taught children with severe and profound disabilities,” she said.

Although retired, Henderson said she still found ways to serve her community.

“I’m still on several boards, including the ethics committee for King Edward Memorial Hospital and on the Cottesloe’s SHINE community services board,” she said.

“I’m also on the board of A Maze of Story, which provides opportunities for young students in schools to learn to write a book and then have it published.”