8 March 2024

Carevan founder recognised with Wagga Local Woman of the Year 2024 award

| Chris Roe
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Women in office

Carevan founder Lynne Graham with admin assistant Carol Grylls. Photo: Chriss Buchan.

The woman behind Wagga’s Carevan charity, Lynne Graham, has been recognised as Local Woman of the Year 2024 for her tireless work in the community.

Wagga MP, Dr Joe McGirr, paid tribute to the former Carevan manager and thanked her for the positive impact she has made in supporting the battlers in the community.

“This is a well-deserved honour for Lynne,” Dr McGirr said.

“Lynne stepped down as Carevan Wagga manager at the end of last year and leaves behind a tremendous legacy.

“She has established an organisation that has made a profound difference to our community. Lynne’s genuine care for others and passion for looking after those in the community less fortunate than herself is to be admired.”

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Mrs Graham retired at the end of 2023 after five years in the driver’s seat supporting those experiencing homelessness, social isolation, domestic violence or just struggling to put food on the table.

Mrs Graham was behind the push to establish the charity in 2018 after witnessing the success of the concept in Albury, and they began delivering meals in February of 2019.

Operating on the work of volunteers’ time and donations, momentum has steadily built and hundreds of meals are distributed across the city every week.

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They have their own fully equipped warehouse at Glenfield Park and a fitted-out van, all provided by local businesses to support the cause.

“It was a privilege to reach out to people who needed a hand up – not just through meals, although that was important – but also to provide that human touch to people who may have been struggling,” Mrs Graham said.

“There are many people in our community with passion and dedication to help others and I was just a part of that, so this award is for all the volunteers and everyone I worked with who made those we helped feel valued and involved.”

Mrs Graham was also recognised as Wagga’s Citizen of the Year in 2020.

People sitting in a van

Lynne proudly takes the wheel of her new Carevan in 2019. Photo: Carevan.

The Local Women of the Year Awards is part of the NSW Government’s initiative to recognise the accomplishments of women and coincides with International Women’s Day on 8 March.

NSW Minister for Women Jodie Harrison congratulated all the recipients across the state.

“Women who contribute to local areas are the pillars of their communities. They selflessly dedicate their time and energy to make a positive difference,” Minister Harrison said.

“I would like to acknowledge the invaluable contributions these women are making in their communities with dedication and passion, and thank them for all their amazing work.”

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