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Trifecta of honours humbles Goodmans

Giving Back Community Lifestyle Positive Ageing Stories Volunteer
  • Three members of Canberra’s Goodman family appointed to Order of Australia
  • IRT resident Joyce Goodman completed family trifecta, being awarded OAM
  • Joyce and husband Len helped establish Diabetes Australia in 1984
  • Involved in setting up the SnowyHydro SouthCare aeromedical helicopter rescue service in Canberra
25 February 2018

Canberra’s Goodman family has achieved a special trifecta; three of them have been appointed to the Order of Australia.

"It was ingrained in me from a very young age to help people. I just enjoy the chance to perhaps do something for somebody else.”
Joyce Goodman

As Joyce Goodman pins her Medal of the Order of Australia onto her blouse, she smiles with a deep sense of humility.

It’s the third medal of its kind for her family. Husband Len was appointed Officer of the Order in 2002, and their son Wayne was appointed Member of the Order a year later.

It’s a special trifecta for the Goodman family. After all, being appointed to the Order of Australia is the highest level of recognition in the Australian honours system.

It recognises both outstanding achievement and service.

“I remember being so nervous when I accepted my award. I was shaking so much I could hardly stand still!” says Joyce, 84.

“It’s a great privilege and you don’t take it for granted,” adds Len, 85.

The awards are well deserved, with the Goodman family giving back to their community in more ways than one.

Both Joyce and Len, who have lived at IRT Kangara Waters for a little over a year, have been heavily involved in community service and volunteer work.

 

Highlights include setting up Diabetes Australia in 1984, 27 years as YMCA staff including in the National Office, and setting up the SnowyHydro SouthCare aeromedical helicopter rescue service in Canberra.

“I guess I never think about it as giving back,” Joyce says.

“It was ingrained in me from a very young age to help people. I just enjoy the chance to perhaps do something for somebody else.”

Their son Wayne, on the other hand, joined the army in 1982.

His career took him all over Australia, America, England, Malaysia, Iraq and Afghanistan, where he held roles up to and including Brigadier.

“Working with people, looking after people and then leading people is something I’ve always wanted to do,” Wayne says.

Today, he’s still a reservist with Defence and runs an art-based recovery program for wounded and injured people.

As for Joyce and Len, they’re still as busy as ever.

“I’ve cut down on a number of things, but I still keep involved with Rotary, the church and I’ve just finished running a careers expo for students,” says Len.

“I also enjoy going to ‘Grumpy Old Men’ on a Tuesday morning. We have a coffee and solve all the problems of the world – we have a damn good time.”

Joyce has tried to wind back on volunteer work to look after her health. She had major spinal surgery in 1962 and was left temporarily paralysed. However, she’s still heavily involved with Probus Club.

As for what’s next, they’ve booked an overseas cruise for later this year and are looking forward to spending time with their family, including Wayne, daughter Gail, and their six grandchildren.

“I’ve always been extremely proud of my family,” Joyce says.

“Len and I feel very blessed.”

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