Order of Australia for Pauline
By Jem Anshaw
There is no denying the amazing impact Where There’s A Will has had in our community, and now Scone’s Pauline Carrigan has been recognised for her role in founding the organisation.
Over the June long weekend it was announced she would receive an Order of Australia for services to youth, but it came with mixed emotion.
“When I received the news my husband was in the room and I looked up and staired at him and then just started to cry, and I think because it’s tied to a tragedy and something that sits with me always, it was probably a bit of a confusing moment really,” she shared of when she found out about her OAM recognition.
“You have a choice to turn it down or accept it, and I really was standing one foot either side, and then I realized that too many people had done too much.
“I asked the community to respond, and they did, and I felt like I owed it to the community who did, to accept it.”
Pauline explained that seven years after it started, Where There’s A Will is still the largest cluster model for positive education in schools in the world, something she said the Upper Hunter needs to be proud of.
Each year another cohort of students enter the framework, more student leaders attend the Summit in Adelaide or workshops here in the Hunter, in a process that will never end, only adapt and evolve.
It is all made possible thanks to a dedicated team, many of whom have stood beside Pauline from the start.
“It wasn’t the power of one, one person did not do what needed to be done – so many people came in with varying talents, the branding of Where There’s A Will was a talented lady, our media was a talented lady, Lindy Hunt, who runs student leadership and has done now for seven years, and they are all volunteers,” Pauline said.
“Every principal and every schoolteacher that trained and now stands up on a daily basis in schools, they’ve learned it, they’re living in their day to day lives. And by doing so, they’re role modelling it to their students and they’re teaching it to their students. And now it’s rippling into the community.”