BARBARA Hughes’ service to the Ballarat community over many decades has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday 2019 Honours list.
Mrs Hughes, the recipient of an OAM, Order of Australia Medal, said she is delighted and incredibly honoured to receive the award.
“It has been a privilege to serve the Ballarat community alongside so many hardworking and talented people,” she said.
“Ballarat has provided many great opportunities for both myself and my family and I really consider it a pleasure that I have been able to give a little back to the community.”
Mrs Hughes was a trail blazer in 1979 when she started her own business, Barbara Hughes and Associates, one of the first employment agencies in Victoria.
She has gone on to take her talents, commitment and devotion across a diverse range of businesses, organisations and local government.
While a Shire of Ballarat councillor for 12 years she was elected and served as President from 1992 to 1994.
She oversaw the construction of the Shire offices in Wendouree while in that role.
Mrs Hughes has served as Chair on the boards of Ballarat District Nursing and Healthcare and Ballarat Stereo Radio, as well as being Deputy Chair of YMCA Ballarat.
She agreed she was a pioneer in her time and believes it is more accepted now for women to fill board roles.
“I guess it became very fashionable at one stage to have a female on the board,” she chuckled.
“I was invited to go on a board once because they considered that a token woman was required, however I was able to demonstrate my experience and capability allowed me to effectively contribute.”
Her husband Geoff has been her rock over the past 59 years of marriage.
“I could not have achieved half of what I have without Geoff’s support,” she said.