Our hero meets her own

WODONGA’S citizen of the year Pam Adams will meet two Australian heroes this week.

Today she will meet Australia’s greatest wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist and tomorrow she will meet Prime Minister Julia Gillard over morning tea.

“My eldest grandson thinks it’s wonderful that I’m going to meet Adam Gilchrist because he’s a cricketer but I’m proud of Julia,” Ms Adams said.

The great-grandmother was yesterday named Wodonga’s citizen of the year.

The early gong is due to Ms Adams’ commitments in Canberra for Australia Day, where she is in the running to be named the national local hero of the year.

In November, Ms Adams, 67, was named the 2013 Victorian local hero.

Her grandson Connor, 19, nominated her and will accompany Ms Adams to Canberra.

The former cleaner and tireless volunteer said everything in the nation’s capital would be a new experience.

“I’ve only ever been to Floriade so it’s all new to me,” she said.

“I feel very humble and excited.”

Despite her selection as Victoria’s local hero, Ms Adams said she didn’t expect to be named Wodonga citizen of the year.

“There’s lots of people here in Wodonga who do amazing work, I’m not the only one,” Ms Adams said.

“Why should I be treated any different to anyone else? That’s how I look at it.”

Ms Adams has been volunteering for 36 years, first as a mum in the school canteen.

For eight hours a day, five days a week Ms Adams is a volunteer at the Albury-Wodonga Foodshare Centre.

She started a community vegetable garden at St Stephen’s Uniting Church and established an annual community dinner at the church.

Australia Day celebrations in Wodonga will start on Saturday at Les Stone Park with a free barbecue at 7am.

Awards will be presented to the 2013 citizen of the year, young citizen of the year and the community organisation of the year.

Residents of Bosnia, India, France and Mauritius will become Australian citizens.

Former deputy chief fire officer Keith Adamson is the Australia Day ambassador.

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