Oatlands resident Elizabeth Wilson awarded OAM for Toastmasters

Honoured: Elizabeth Wilson said Toastmasters International brought her a lot of joy and she has loved her time with the organisation. Picture: Gene Ramirez
Honoured: Elizabeth Wilson said Toastmasters International brought her a lot of joy and she has loved her time with the organisation. Picture: Gene Ramirez
Honoured: Elizabeth Wilson said Toastmasters International brought her a lot of joy and she's loved her time with the organisation.Picture: Isabella Lettini

Honoured: Elizabeth Wilson said Toastmasters International brought her a lot of joy and she's loved her time with the organisation.Picture: Isabella Lettini

Honoured: Elizabeth Wilson said Toastmasters International brought her a lot of joy and she's loved her time with the organisation.Picture: Isabella Lettini

Honoured: Elizabeth Wilson said Toastmasters International brought her a lot of joy and she's loved her time with the organisation.Picture: Isabella Lettini

It's not common for a husband and wife to receive an Order of Australia Medal but it happened in the Wilson household.

Oatlands resident Elizabeth Wilson was awarded a medal for her services to the community through Toastmasters International two years after her husband received his for the same contribution.

"I was very honoured but very surprised," Mrs Wilson said.

"I thought one medal in the family was enough.

"When the letter came in the mail I didn't even look at it, I just put it on the table until [husband] Gary told me to open it."

The former deputy principal of Tara Anglican School for Girls (1991-94) began her involvement with the public speaking organisation International Toastmistress in 1968.

"Back then there were two separate organisations for men and women but after both sexes wanted to interact the services decided there shouldn't be any discrimination," Mrs Wilson said.

"I went on to become the first female district governor for NSW and ACT [1987].

"Attending the international convention in the United States in the early '90s was one of the highlights for me as was meeting and working with different people."

Through her involvement with Toastmasters International, the former Carlingford resident, 76, was a trainer in "speechcraft", taught youth leadership at schools, mentored peers and developed education and public relations program for the organisation.

She was also the District Toastmaster of the Year in 2010.

Despite battling breast cancer that has spread to her liver and spine, Mrs Wilson continues to contribute to Toastmasters International as its supplies sales officer.

"I hope to continue helping for a long time," she said.

This story Toastmasters stalwart recognised first appeared on Parramatta Sun.

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