Reward for work with disabled
KERRY Johnston was named the Ballina Electorate Woman of the Year at a ceremony at NSW Parliament House last week.
Mrs Johnston, from Teven, founded the Ballina and District Riding for Disabled Association in 1979.
State Member for Ballina Don Page congratulated Mrs Johnston on her award, describing her as an inspirational and dedicated worker for the disabled community.
"Kerry Johnston has made an outstanding contribution to her community for over 30 years and I was proud to see her recognised for her achievements," Mr Page said.
"Kerry has been a senior coach and assessor with Riding for the Disabled Association for 33 years. She was a member of the Coaching and Safety Panel for RDA and was a co-ordinator of the Equine Facilitated Mental Health sub-committee.
"The work Kerry has done with the disabled over a long period of time has changed lives.
"I have had the privilege on many occasions to see first-hand the wonderful work that Kerry does with the RDA. There is nothing like seeing the look of sheer joy of a disabled person experiencing the freedom of riding one of the magnificent, gentle RDA horses."
Mrs Johnston is now directing her expertise and energy as a therapist and horsewoman in a program being run in the USA, specialising in helping troubled youth.
"Kerry Johnston has made an enormous contribution over a long period through her work with the RDA. Despite retiring from her official position in 2012 with the organisation, her commitment and work continues," Mr Page said.