Honour bestowed – City business leader recognised

HONOURED: Mount Gambier business leader Lynette Martin will be awarded the Order of Australia Medal today as part of the Australia Day National Honours List. Picture: SANDRA MORELLO.
HONOURED: Mount Gambier business leader Lynette Martin will be awarded the Order of Australia Medal today as part of the Australia Day National Honours List. Picture: SANDRA MORELLO.

PROMINENT Mount Gambier identity Lynette Martin will be honoured today with a prestigious Australia Day Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for her decades of service to the regional community.

Ms Martin has been at the helm of the Mount Gambier Chamber of Commerce for 10 years where she has been at the forefront of championing issues facing the business community.

The community advocate also spearheaded numerous fundraising initiatives as a committee member of the Mount Gambier Spastic Council predominately in the 1970s.

In addition Ms Martin is a key member of Tourism Mount Gambier, which is a fledgling body promoting the city’s tourism sector.

“To receive such an award is humbling, particularly when I look at the wonderful people who have been recognised in this way and the many people in our community who could be recognised for their achievements,” Ms Martin said.

“I am one of many people in our community who have enjoyed contributing and working towards a better Mount Gambier.”

Ms Martin said she had been “fortunate” to live in Mount Gambier and be part of the wonderful community.

“It is a feeling of great satisfaction to work with many and varied people,” she said.

I feel very privileged to have been able to contribute in some small way,” she said.

Ms Martin cited her involvement with the Chamber of Commerce as her proudest and most fulfilling community role.

“I have been fortunate in that working for the chamber has been a wonderful experience, giving me the opportunity to meet many inspiring people,” the chamber president said.

She is particularly buoyed by the chamber’s growth in stature and becoming the city’s leading independent business voice.

“This would not have been possible without the combined efforts of the board members over those years and I thank all those who have worked and continue to work with me,” she said.

“I believe we need to work together across all categories to achieve results in the Mount Gambier community.”

In particular, she praised chamber stalwarts Kent Comley and Ben Hood who have played a key role in supporting her during her time on the chamber’s leadership team.

Ms Martin’s community involvement was sparked when she joined the Mount Gambier Rotary Club in 1972 as a founding member and then as president.

She was in the public spotlight for her community fundraising efforts when she was crowned “Miss Mount Gambier” in 1971 as part of the Miss Australia Quest.

Following this, Ms Martin remained on the local Mount Gambier Spastic Council for 10 years raising funds for spastic centres and serving as president for several years.

Ms Martin’s long list of community involvements includes being a member of the Back to Mount Gambier Celebrations, chair of Gold Committee that raised money for the Crippled Children’s Association and a member of the local Red Cross branch.

The long serving volunteer now sits on the not-for-profit Limestone Coast Opera Committee, which is striving to foster opportunities for classical singers in regional areas.

Ms Martin said she was inspired to volunteer for the community when she worked for the late Softwood Holdings chief executive officer Don Downs who was involved in a cluster of community groups.

“Anyone can contribute to our community – I am a great believer in the community,” she said.

On a personal note, Ms Martin thanked her husband Colin for his unwavering support.

Today is a special day for the couple who are celebrating their wedding anniversary.

“I share this award with Colin who has been by my side,” Ms Martin said.