Julie Ireland receives the Ann Williams Clarke Memorial Award from Gardening Clubs of Australia

FLOWER GIRL: Julie Ireland in the Walcha Golf Club last Saturday following the unexpected announcement of her award. Fellow members say the Walcha Garden Club has grown well under her nurturing leadership.
FLOWER GIRL: Julie Ireland in the Walcha Golf Club last Saturday following the unexpected announcement of her award. Fellow members say the Walcha Garden Club has grown well under her nurturing leadership.

After more than twenty years of membership with the Walcha Garden Club (WGC), Mrs Julie Ireland has been awarded the prestigious Ann Williams Clarke Memorial Award by Garden Clubs of Australia for outstanding service.

The honour was bestowed during the annual WGC spring luncheon at the Walcha Golf Club last Saturday.

Gardening Clubs of Australia president George Hoad was on hand to present the medal to the outgoing WGC president.

WGC secretary Mrs Diana Lisle made the announcement which had been successfully kept secret from a visibly surprised Mrs Ireland.

"Julie has been an active member of this club since she joined," Mrs Lisle said.

"She has held the position of president twice, vice president for six years and has been the coordinator of the Walcha Garden Festival three times."

Mrs Ireland held club executive positions between 2007 and 2019.

Julie always showed great leadership and foresight

Diana Lisle

"In that time Julie always showed great leadership and foresight to our members whenever she was called upon," Mrs Lisle said.

"She has encouraged member involvement within our community and her garden at 'Prairie Fields' is both an inspiration and reflection of her deep interest in garden design.

"It has been enjoyed by visiting garden enthusiasts from all over Australia."

The late Ann Williams Clark had a pivotal role in the Garden Clubs of Australia for many years. She was GCA president three times and vice president three times and became a life member. Ann helped in the formation of clubs as well as visiting outlying clubs to have direct contact with members and provide advice.

Mrs Ireland joins fellow WGC member Ann Clarke Memorial Award recipients Olga Lisle, Barb Dunn, Hep Tozer and Joy McLeod.