Cobar Shire Mayor Lilliane Brady OAM has been awarded the first ever Lifetime Achievement Award, for her unique and outstanding dedication and contribution to the Cobar community.
This year Local Government NSW (LGNSW) introduced the award to formally recognise exceptional service to local government by councillors who have made extraordinary contributions to their communities.
Upon receiving the award Councillor Brady said she was “surprised” and “privileged” to be given such an honour.
It’s not an easy task to represent a shire which is the size of Tasmania, however Cr Brady says “it’s why I’m here”.
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“I believe I’ve worked hard for the town, and local government is the closest thing for the people,” Cr Brady said.
Cr Brady first moved to Cobar with her husband Allan and her three children from Strathfield in the 1970s, and what was supposed to be only 12 months soon became 50 years.
“The town’s wonderful to me and the people have been kind to me, what more can I ask for,” she said.
At times the town with a rich mining heritage and strong tourism values has been out-of-sight and out-of-mind for governments in Sydney and Canberra. However Cr Brady continues to be a driving force behind a number of projects in the shire including the Cobar Retirement Village.
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She also continues to campaign for a new hospital, better infrastructure, and a fairer return of the mining royalties that flow from the town to the NSW Office of State Revenue.
Cr Brady said while she is the first female Mayor of the Western Division, she has never felt out of place, agreeing “all the men have been wonderful” and “really treated me like a queen.”
“Local government is about the person, not the gender.”
Local Government NSW president Linda Scott congratulated Cr Brady for her “unwavering passion and commitment to her community”.
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“Since moving to Cobar Shire nearly 50 years ago, she has worked tirelessly for local people and been an outstanding champion for the local government area,” Ms Scott said.
“One legendary exchange came during a community cabinet meeting, in which a State Government Minister tried to divert her from her demands for Cobar with personal flattery.
“Lilliane more than had his measure, and snapped right back: ‘I’m here for finance, Minister, not romance.’
“That anecdote illustrates her tenacity and refusal to take no for an answer, and Ministers at all levels of government have learnt not to underestimate her determination to get the best possible outcomes for the people of Cobar Shire,” she continued.
“Mayor Lilliane Brady is an absolute asset to the people of Cobar Shire and the local government sector as a whole, and we couldn’t have asked for a better recipient of our first-ever LGNSW Lifetime Achievement Award.”