Shirley Smith was the winner of the First State Super Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 NSW Women of the Year Awards.
Shirley Smith, a trained nurse, secretary, community volunteer and a farmer's wife, observed that many residents of her rural village were unable to attend medical care and treatment when required. The absence of suitable affordable public transport was very evident, particularly when one was no longer able to drive a car. Shirley noted how the Undertakers were never out of work, or so it seemed.
The idea of creating a volunteer team to provide suitable, affordable transport to and from medical care and treatment was formed by Shirley in 1999. The service was embraced by the community and over the course of 19 years, 2,673 residents have been assisted to achieve a total of 85,706 one way trips. To cover the cost of the fuel residents who required the assistance were asked to make an affordable donation.
A support team was formed to become the fundraising arm of this volunteer team. The service has now grown to include two paid employees supporting the volunteers and they continue to strive to serve their community by providing assistance for medical-related transport.