31 JAN 2013 - Park renaming for “living legend” Lynne

Australian of the Year Local Hero Lynne Sawyers is to be honoured with the renaming of the Darbys Falls Recreation Reserve.

The Reserve is to be named after the 2012 Award Winner at a special event on Saturday 9 February starting at 10am.

Cowra Mayor Councillor Bill West said that the distinction is due recognition for a woman who has devoted her life to helping others.

“Mrs Sawyers was awarded her Australia Day Award by Prime Minister Julia Gillard for fostering more than 200 children over a 15-year-period at her property near Darbys Falls,” Cr West said.

“In an age where such values may be unfashionable, she exemplifies the spirit of service to others and is an example to us all of the importance of good public deeds,” he said.
Cr West commended the renaming by the Trust that administers the Reserve following the failure of the Geographical Names Board to officially support the decision.

 “The Board has a general policy of refusing name changes of public areas for living citizens, they could have and should have made an exception for Lynne,” Cr West said.

The Mayor pointed out that exceptions were applied to runner Cathy Freeman for the Olympic site at Homebush Bay and for former Labor Treasurer and Prime Minister Paul Keating at Bankstown.

As well as her years of service fostering children in need, Ms Sawyers also has strong links to the Reserve.

“As well as her great work in the community, Lynne has also been a fantastic champion of the Reserve, lobbying for improved play equipment and even personally sewing-up torn shade-cloth at the park,” Carolyn Waldon from the Darbys Falls Progress Association said. Cowra Council said it will continue to lobby for the name change to be made official.

“If ever there was an exception to the rule, then Mrs Sawyers is it — she is a living legend in our community and should be recognised as such,” Mrs Waldon said.

The official ceremony for the renaming will be followed by a morning tea at the Darby Falls Rural Fire Service Hall.

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