Cathi Moore learnt, while she was growing up on a farm in Western Australia, if you want a social service, you have to raise money and start it yourself.
She brought the same attitude to Canberra, where she moved in 1974 as a young graduate and has spent most of her life since, deeply committed to volunteer social service organisations.
Ms Moore becomes a member of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day honours, recognised for her significant service to young women, and to the community.
Ms Moore first became involved with the ACT Council of Social Service and the Young Women's Christian Association, where she went on to become president of the ACT division.
"It was an organisation that encouraged young women's leadership, and so they encouraged me as a young woman. And I guess that's where I developed a whole range of commitment to encouraging young women to have similar opportunities," Ms Moore said.
While working as a public servant, Ms Moore, now 66 and retired, volunteered, sat on boards and chaired committees across Canberra.
She continues to work with the YWCA, Marymead, ACT Council of Social Service, Community Housing Canberra, Parentline ACT, and My Coaching My Future, which provides free coaching for women who have moved on from violent relationships.
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Ms Moore said she had not lost any of the motivation and her work continued "because there's still a bit of it to do".
Working with Community Housing Canberra, Ms Moore is currently focused on affordable housing in a city which is fast pricing people out. She has been advocating in the sector for decades.
"To me [it is] the big issue in Canberra, because I'm also passionate about children having opportunities to grow and develop, and really if you're not in secure and affordable housing, you don't get a start," she said.
Ms Moore, who was ACT Senior Woman of the Year in 2018, said she was slightly embarrassed by the recognition, and paid thanks to her parents, and husband, Brendan Cox, for their support.
"It's lovely to get recognition but there's plenty of other people like me in this Canberra community, so I was surprised," she said.
- Australian Community Media, publisher of The Canberra Times, is a proud supporter and corporate partner of the Australian of the Year Awards.