BOLSTERING sexual health awareness in Australia and Africa has earned two Border nurses Medals in the Order of Australia.
Alison Kincaid received her gong for nursing and Marg Docking was rewarded for service to the international community through health programs.
Ms Kincaid established Albury's first sexual health service in 1996, while Mrs Docking created the Christian charity Wise Choices for Life in Uganda in 2011 to empower local leaders to tackle issues such as maternal care and gender balance.
Having been a nurse since 1972 when "we were handmaidens to the doctors", Ms Kincaid was rapt to become an OAM.
"I feel very humbled by it, but very proud and honoured," Ms Kincaid said.
OTHER HONOURS RECIPIENTS:
- Former mayor joins predecessor as OAM recipient
- Bushfire recovery and environmental education honoured
- Jet pilot, cricket servant, Indigenous leader saluted
- Pottery nous results in gong for community service
- Nurses' endeavours across Albury and Africa get kudos
- Love of Myrtleford, Yarrawonga reflected in retiree's gongs
"I've been nursing for a lot of years and I've made a contribution to nursing but to be honoured in this way is more than I dreamed."
Before Ms Kincaid set up the sexual health clinic when those with HIV were unable to be treated on the Border and she endured blowback from bigots with the condition considered a gay disease that also engulfed drug users.
"I felt quite strongly about standing up and being a voice for people," Ms Kincaid said.
"Even though I didn't identify with any of those communities I thought it was important I had a role in educating nurses because we didn't have education in that area.
"Even though HIV hit the ground in the 1980s, people in Albury didn't know about it."
Despite retiring in late 2019, Ms Kincaid has since done casual work at Albury hospital's wound clinic and expects to help with administering the COVID vaccine.
For Bullioh's Mrs Docking, the OAM is recognition for helping Uganda which she first visited in 2009 after having worked in remote Aboriginal communities in Australia.
"My whole driving force is to have Ugandans teach and train and work with their own people and I feel now hopefully that is my legacy and it's running itself," Mrs Docking said.
She noted child brides were common in Uganda and "men believe it is their job to produce as many children as possible and their care is not their responsibility".
"Girls did not know where periods came from, did not know conception took place, they did not know the damages they faced, they were blissfully ignorant," Mrs Docking said when recalling one of her workshop sessions.
Ugandan director Joyce Kidulu and three other paid staff and 40 volunteers are involved in organising sessions through schools, prisons and the church.
Mrs Docking relinquished her board seat and executive director role last year after being diagnosed with uterine cancer and she is undergoing chemotherapy at the Albury-Wodonga cancer centre.
"I know my legacy is in Uganda and whether I live or die, it will keep going," she said.