Bell resident Jean Sorley has been named a recipient of the Order of Australia Medal in the Australia Day Honours List.
Bell resident Jean Sorley has been named a recipient of the Order of Australia Medal in the Australia Day Honours List. Nancy Evans

Sorley follows father’s lead

ONE Bell resident was excited and greatly relieved when Australia Day finally came around.

At last she could share a secret she had been keeping from family and friends for several weeks.

On Monday night Jean Sorley phoned her family with the news that she had been awarded an Order of Australia Medal.

Mrs Sorley received the award in the Australia Day Honours List “for service to local government and to the community of the Western Downs”.

She has no idea who nominated her and said she was surprised and honoured to be named.

Jean moved to Bell with her parents when she was ten years old and has lived in the area ever since.

Over the years she has become very involved in local community organisations.

“Following in the footsteps of my father and hard working earlier generations, I have felt challenged to do my bit, and by the grace of God have come to this point in time, with the support of many wonderful fellow life travellers,” Mrs Sorley said.

Most days she can be found at the Visitor Information Centre located in the Bell Bunya Community Centre in Bell where she enjoys helping tourists visiting and travelling through the region.

As well as volunteering in organisations around Bell, she is actively involved with the Lake Broadwater Natural History Association and the Bunya Mountains Care Group.

Before council amalgamation, Mrs Sorley served on the Wambo Shire Council for 17 years from 1991 to 2008.

For most of that time she was the shire’s only female councillor.

Mrs Sorley will receive her award at a ceremony at Government House later in the year.


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