Department of Primary Industries 2011 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll
Volunteering can have many positive effects such as improving health, reducing social isolation, raising self-esteem and contributing to the wellbeing and unity of our communities. Around 1.7 million people in New South Wales are involved in formal volunteering, through their involvement in community and other voluntary organisations. The following stories celebrate and acknowledge rural women volunteers across New South Wales and were submitted by appreciative members of their communities.
Leonie Sinclair (Culburra Beach near Nowra)
Leonie was involved in the initial consultation undertaken by Illawarra Legal Centre regarding the need for a Community Legal Centre to service the unmet legal needs of the Shoalhaven and South Coast. Shoal Coast opened its doors in 1999 and Leonie has been a founding member of the Centre’s Management Committee since that time.
From commencement of the Legal Centre, Leonie has taken on key roles as Vice President and then President when the long-standing President retired in November 2006.
Over the past 10 years Leonie has been a strong advocate for the role of Community Legal Centres in improving access to justice for socially and economically disadvantaged people living on the South Coast.
She has supported Shoal Coast not only through the Management Committee but directly through providing mentoring and support for solicitors when required. Despite being an extremely busy and well respected private solicitor, Leonie has always provided quick responses to any questions put to her. She has a wealth of specialist knowledge in Family Law, Wills and Probate. Leonie has also assisted the Centre by accepting referrals of legally-aided clients with difficult cases which she has fitted into her very busy private practice.
Leonie has supported all aspects of the role of the Management Committee, attending meetings and planning days, undertaking performance appraisals with staff on an annual basis, and assisting with resolving conflicts when these have arisen within the team at different times, for more than 10 years.