Geraldton full of locals going the extra mile, says recent OAM recipient Kate McConkey

Phoebe PinGeraldton Guardian
Geraldton resident Kate McConkey was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia
Camera IconGeraldton resident Kate McConkey was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia Credit: Geraldton Guardian

A former Geraldton schoolteacher who was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia at the weekend says the community is full of people going the extra mile for a good cause.

School Drug Education and Road Aware Mid West region co-ordinator Kate McConkey was “chuffed” to receive the prestigious award, which recognises her decades of commitment to the education sector.

While reading and writing are essential life skills, Ms McConkey also saw the importance of teaching young people how to take care of their mental and physical wellbeing.

Ms McConkey said it was after she attended a workshop about drug and alcohol education in 1998 that she increased her efforts to help other teachers incorporate health safety into the classroom.

We want to help young people to lead a healthy, happy and safe life.

“We want to help young people to lead a healthy, happy and safe life.”

Ms McConkey volunteered with School Drug Education and Road Aware for years before she became regional co-ordinator.

She may have been the one to receive the OAM, but Ms McConkey said the success of drug and alcohol programs depended on the hard work of all engaged in the industry. “I was lucky enough to have the nomination because most of the activities I am involved in, they involve a lot of other people working just as hard as I do,” she said.

“We work alongside each other and support each other.”

Ms McConkey said it was a pleasure to serve a community as diverse and rich in opportunity as Geraldton. “I love the diversity of the community,” she said.

“We offer great education, very healthy lifestyles, and I think there are great opportunities here.

“There are also a lot of people working to make sure those opportunities are made available to everyone.”

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