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Student receives Order of Australia

Swinburne Online Bachelor of Business student Cathy Roth has been recognised with an Order of Australia and says the reward for her is the impact made on others through a lifetime of contribution.

‘From my earliest memories, we have been a family that does what needs doing for the community. So the reward is really all that has been achieved for others and being able to see the positive difference volunteerism can make on people,’ Cathy says.

The Geelong resident has devoted much of her life to her wider communities. One of Cathy’s most significant roles was preparing a public appeal with Rotary after the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunamis, where she was able to help raise over $300,000 to help re-build parts of India and Sri Lanka.

‘We worked to raise support for the places affected and provided fishing boats, computers, clothing and re-developed schools in the villages that had been impacted. We also provided shoes and children’s toys to the orphanages and helped re-build their facilities,’ Cathy says.

Her long history of community work has included roles such as president of Geelong Chamber of Commerce, Geelong community foundation board member, chairwoman of the Rotary International District Foundation, and Australia-New Zealand-Oceania regional vice-chairwoman of the International Rotary Leadership Institute.

But Cathy has also been a business leader in her community running businesses and acting as a great advocate in the sector as member of several boards for the past 30 years. It was these experiences that lead Cathy to gain a qualification in the field and become a part of Swinburne Online.

‘On top of my community work, I was a Radiographer for many years. I then began running my own businesses and I just kept saying one of these days I need to formalise my skills, so I did.

‘Study is part of my life now. It’s great to be able to juggle all my other commitments while being able to learn more and improve my existing knowledge at my own pace.

‘This is different way to work with people and connect with others and I’m enjoying interacting with new communities through education.’ Cathy says.

Although the 66 year-old has entered a new chapter in her life through study, she will always be committed to her lifelong passion, helping other people.

‘Community service is a significant achievement for me because you can touch the world. And it doesn’t have to be a big help, just a little contribution can go such a long way.’

Cathy will be presented with her Order of Australia later this year through a ceremony at Government House in Canberra.