Carmel Clemson embodies a type of a modern-day superhero.
On top of raising eight children and her career, the now great-grandmother has volunteered in the community ever since she was a teenager.
Mrs Clemson was made an officer of the Order of Australia on Friday for her service to the Macedon Ranges community.
She has volunteered in too many roles to name during her 30 years at Bullengarook and five years living in Gisborne.
When the former Bullengarook schoolhouse was to be demolished in 1987 – the only historic public building remaining in Bullengarook – Mrs Clemson organised and fundraised for its relocation. She founded and was president of Bullengarook Historical Society, and the schoolhouse became a community building, used by Gisborne Youth group.
Mrs Clemson was a councillor for the Shire of Gisborne from 1993-1995, before it amalgamated into Macedon Ranges council.
With youth being one of her council portfolios, Mrs Clemson said she kept quiet knowing the community’s few homeless youth were using the former schoolhouse overnight.
“That for me – as a mother of eight kids – was very heartening,” she said.
One of her favourite volunteer roles was at Riding for the Disabled. She said there was nothing quite like seeing the sheer joy on people’s faces as she took them horse riding.
Mrs Clemson is currently fundraising for a respite house for people with dementia and Parkinson’s as an executive member of Woodend Lifestyle Carers Support group. Having cared for her ill husband for years, she knows that carers don’t get much respite.
“It’s jolly hard work and you just burn out.”
To add something else to the list, the great-grandmother also does weddings as a civil marriage celebrant and funeral celebrant.