Northern Rivers Echo; Mel Carrero | 3rd November 2011
For 20 years founder/president of the Animal Rights & Rescue Group, Barbara Steffensen(pictured), has offered herself and her home to helping companion animals find homes as well as building the organisation from scratch.
Her tireless efforts have been recognised in the 2011 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll, an initiative developed by the Industry & Investment NSW Rural Women’s Network to recognise diverse roles women and volunteers play within NSW rural communities. Barbara is one of five local women to be honoured.
Barbara said she feels privileged to be recognised amongst a group of powerful and amazing ladies who do great work for charities across the state.
“Recognition like this is a great benefit to the organisation, it’s not only a credit to me but our team,” Barbara said. “With this, everything about our work gets recognised, including our passion for animals.”
Even when a personal award is given to Barbara, she’s still thinking of the organisation, which is a testament to why the group has kept running for 16 years from humble beginnings in her backyard to a centre with temporary accommodation for animals in South Lismore. The non-kill organisation not only helps adopt and foster abandoned animals, they assist families who are struggling to keep their pets for whatever reason.
Lismore MP Thomas George is proud five local women have been recognised in the Honour Roll.
“These women are wonderful examples of so many in our community who give of their time and energy to local organisations. Women are often the backbone of families and rural communities and without their dedication and commitment many groups and charities would struggle to survive,” Mr George said.
Also honoured were Helen Wynd of Goonellabah for her work with the Red Cross and the Australian Army Medical Women’s Service, Helen Trustum of Bentley for her numerous community contributions, as well as Dorothy Sullivan of Casino and Jeanette Kennedy of Ballina.