Member for Cootamundra Katrina Hodgkinson recognised two 2016 Hidden Treasures from Cowra recently - Nicole Howden and Marlee Langfield.
Nicole, known in town as Nikki, was recognised for her volunteer work with the Cowra Neighbourhood Centre while Marlee – Cowra’s 2016 Young Citizen of the Year – has put her agriculture and management qualifications to use to benefit the community.
“It is an amazing feeling to be recognised,” Nikki Howden said.
“It makes me want to volunteer and help the community more. I enjoy helping other people, it’s a reward in itself.”
“The people, their smiles and the atmosphere in the community I work in makes the time I give as a volunteer enjoyable and worthwhile. I'm very proud to be recognised,” Marlee added.
The 2016 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll was announced during October last year.
Our Hidden Treasures’ contributions to the community-
Nikki jumped straight into a volunteer role with the Cowra Information and Neighbourhood Centre (CINC) when she moved to Cowra. She established a support group for mothers who had lost unborn or stillborn angel babies, after the loss of her daughter Chance in 2011, with the program being auspiced under CINC.
The group has grown to supply hospitals nationwide with bereavement packages for grieving families. She is a CINC volunteer board member holding the position of treasurer and secretary.
She coordinates Tax Help, Community Conversations within Bilyara and was a lead coordinator in Cowra Bring Healthy Back - which in its first year saw more than 500 members change their health habits.
In 2015 Marlee was awarded Western Region Trainee of the Year for excelling in Certificate III in Agriculture.
Recently, she was the guest speaker at the 2016 Training Awards and inspired the room with her knowledge of the industry.
Other achievements include-
2014 Cowra Showgirl Rural Achiever and 2016 Art4Agriculture Grain Research and Development Corporation Young Farming Champion.
Marlee has spent valuable time volunteering and assisting with Morongla and Cowra Show Societies, Country Women's Association, Australian Red Cross, NSW Poll Dorset Championships, Headspace and NSW Farmers and she has supported many other community projects and cultural events.
Some active roles she has taken on so far include general committee member, chief steward, caterer, publicity officer, cultural officer, photographer and the list goes on.
Marlee was awarded 2016 Cowra Young Citizen of the Year.