News

Liz is honour roll

By Holly Tregenza

LIZ Spicer is undeniably one of a kind. 

Rocking a colourful get-up, a bright smile and seemingly endless energy, Liz has made loving people her life's work.

Now, the Kyabram P-12 chaplain has been nominated for the Victorian Honour Roll of Women, which is celebrating its 20th year in 2020. 

Inductees come from all walks of life and have demonstrated inspirational leadership and excellence in their field. 

"I'm really honoured," said Liz.

"It's a testament to the whole community, who have raised money and supported the chaplaincy program, who expect nothing back but just want to help people doing it tough.  "Very often people just come up and put money in my hand and say put it towards the people doing it hard, and I do.  

"It's a job that I love and one that I take home with me, and it feels great to be recognised."

MP Peter Walsh threw his support behind the nomination and said Liz continues to go above and beyond in her work. 

"She has helped many students through the challenges of school and teenage years, and I know many she has helped still stay in contact with her because of the assistance she has given them," he said. 

And while Liz is certainly a public face, it's the work she does behind the scenes that continues to have a huge impact. 

That includes discreetly providing school uniforms and books to struggling students, helping families pay for excursions, and dressing seniors for their deb balls.  

And it extends to her work as a Justice of the Peace, which has her helping out the elderly with getting their documents witnessed without having to make a trip into town. 

She has also garnered the respect of the Koori and indigenous communities of Kyabram, and has a long-standing relationship with both groups.  

One year level co-ordinator from Ky P-12 College spelled it out in their letter of nomination. 

"There would not be a single day when co-ordinators do not rely on Liz to help calm, council, feed or clothe our students, alongside providing a safe haven for students who are lost, alone or afraid.

"Liz takes the most difficult students in our school and makes them feel valuable and cared for." 

And it is certainly not only the students who are beneficiaries of Liz's help. 

As an emergency ministry chaplain, Liz is often the first port of call for any trauma or emergency event in the community. 

When the horror fire season of 2009 ripped through Strathewen and Kinglake, Liz was there to make cups of tea and help pick up the pieces. 

Travelling to the area most affected by Black Saturday for two years after the disaster, she became trauma counsellor, friend, cook and donation co-ordinator for people whose life had been wiped out. 

Such was her impact that she was invited to the Strathewen 10-year anniversary memorial earlier this year. 

"Marking the occasion is important because people matter, whether still with us or to, and it gave everyone a chance to remember and stay strong," Liz said. 

And like many country towns, Kyabram has had its fair share of assaults from drought, milk prices, a struggling fruit industry and job loss. 

Through it all, there has been one person that people call. And she always answers. 

Successful nominees will be officially inducted early next year.