“CAROL JAMES OUR WOMAN OF THE YEAR” by Louise Thrower – Friday February 6 2015
Cr Carol James admitted to a combination of “total shock and embarrassment” at Tuesday’s Council meeting.
The newly declared ‘Goulburn Woman of the Year’ knew something was afoot several weeks ago but the honour was nevertheless a surprise. In presenting the award, Goulburn MP Pru Goward said it recognised Cr James’s “fantastic efforts” as a community worker, particularly with young people and her time on Council, including as Mayor.
The gong is one of many being presented across the state as part of the 2015 Premier’s Award for Woman of the Year. Late last year Ms Goward urged people to nominate worthy people in their communities.
The initiative recognises those who “demonstrate excellence in a career, field or passion and/or a significant achievement in a male dominated area.” Cr James has dedicated herself to young people over many years.
She has been involved in Goulburn Scouts for the past 16 years, the Youth Council since about 2008 and helped out with the Young Achievers program. She’s also the youth support person that police call on at all hours to help with difficult situations.
In addition, Cr James chairs the Community Drug Action Team, is a member of the Goulburn and District Suicide Prevention Network and works on the Salvation Army’s ‘Sallie van.’ She topped the poll when elected to Goulburn Mulwaree Council in 2008 and served for two years as Mayor. Cr James is also a member of numerous committees, with a special devotion to the city’s heritage.
She once told the Post that a mentor had made a huge impact on her life at an age when she could have easily “run off the rails.”
“I have a theory that the right person can make a difference. Someone did that for me, gave me the drive and direction I needed,” Cr James said at the time. “I’ve seen it happen, and to turn a child around is the most wonderful thing. I think everyone has that skill, to show keenness and interest. If you show you care and give young people the benefit of the doubt, it can make a huge difference.”
This week she told the Post that growing confidence and resilience in youth was vital. Seeing them achieve great things was especially heartening. “It’s rather lovely to be recognised by your city and I feel honoured to live here,” Cr James said of the award. “You don’t ask for these honours but it’s nice to be appreciated by your community.”
Ms Goward this week described her as a “great role model who had made her own way in life.”
Cr James will attend the award ceremony hosted by Premier Mike Baird at NSW Parliament House on March 4, where the overall winner will be announced.