A GINGER beer bottle, picked up for $5 at a clearance sale in the 1970s, triggered Kerrie Ford's interest in native pottery.
It is a fascination that saw her co-found Holbrook's National Museum of Australian Pottery and write works including Australian Pottery: The First Hundred Years.
Now that passion has seen her receive a Medal of the Order of Australia for service to community history.
"It recognises the work I've been doing with researching early Australian pottery," Mrs Ford 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
Alongside pottery, Mrs Ford has helped Holbrook's Woolpack Inn Museum, a hospital auxiliary and Scouts.
She and fellow museum creator, husband Geoff, found the bottle at Gundagai and it was inscribed with 1849 and T. Fields potter Sydney which prompted some research and snowballed into a collection of nearly 2000 pieces that encompasses bowls, vases, jugs, jars and water filters.
"There's a lot of collectors out there," Mrs Ford said.
"When we first started people were surprised, they'd say 'why are you collecting Australian pottery, you should be collecting English and European pottery."