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Commitment recognised: Joe and Pearl Trindall have received two prestigious community service awards. Photo: Geoff O’Neill 280605GOA04EVERYONE was in on the surprise bar the two guests of honour when respected Gomeroi elders Joe and Pearl Trindall were invited to the Member for Tamworth, Peter Draper’s office
Family members and friends of the couple joined the local media in the State MP’s office, but were still none the wiser until Mr Draper began his speech.
Mr Draper said he’d been contacted by the Trindalls’ daughter, Amy Creighton, who told him the entire family knew how much her parents had done for the community, and she felt some public recognition would not go astray. Mr Draper felt so strongly about the issue, he raised it in Parliament, telling all of NSW just how effective the Trindalls were in their advocacy of Aboriginal people and issues relating to the local community.
In response, the Premier’s Department arranged for the Trindalls to receive a NSW Government Community Service Award for their “above and beyond the call of duty” service to their people and the wider
The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs also provided a plaque recognising Joe and Pearl Trindall for their outstanding community service and consistent advocacy on behalf of the Gomeroi people.
Tears flowed freely as the significance of Mr Draper’s words sunk in. An emotional Mr Trindall responded, saying they didn’t do what they did to seek recognition, “we just do it”.
“Me old mate here [indicating wife Pearl] has stuck to me all these years,” Mr Trindall said.
“I probably wouldn’t be doing it if it wasn’t for her. We know there are people who need our help, so we just do what we can.”
Mrs Trindall, eyes brimming with tears, backed up her husband’s statements, saying it had been their custom to help others for “50-odd years” or so.
“All I ever wanted to be was a helper,” Mrs Trindall said.
“It’s just unreal that our family have carried on with our work in the community. They’re not perfect, but they really care about people.”
Mr and Mrs Trindall began their advocacy work in Narrabri before moving to live at Attunga in April, 1975.
In 1976, Mr Trindall was elected to the chair of the rejuvenated Kamilaroi Aboriginal Corporation and since that time they have both been actively involved in their local community.
Magistrate Mal MacPherson, who was also present, spoke highly of Joe Trindall’s support of young offenders through the court system.
“Joe has the same passion and commitment towards young people that I have,” Mr MacPherson said.
Responding to Mr MacPherson’s kind words, Mrs Trindall simply said: “Thank God there’s people like Mal MacPherson and his workers who care about our young people.”
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