OAM for Elaine’s life of service

Calvary Rye Sands resident Elaine Wallbridge has received an Order of Australian Medal at a special investiture ceremony at Government House for her lifetime of community service.

The honour is well-deserved recognition for her decades of dedication to Girl Guides, a local police senior citizens’ register to support and help ease the concerns of elderly residents about crime, and a fashion-based charity which raised more than $300,000 for Victorian community groups.

Not to mention the more than 40 foster children she and late husband Milton welcomed into their home.

“I feel very humbled,” said Mrs Wallbridge, now nearing 90. “It was a wonderful experience and absolutely beautiful being at Government House.”

“The whole thing was very special. One of the Calvary Rye Sands staff even came in on her day off just to help me get ready. And of course you have to have a new hat when you go to Government House!”

Calvary Rye Sands also hosted a celebration afterward for friends, family and fellow residents.


Announced in this year’s Australia Day Honours, Mrs Wallbridge was presented with her award on Friday, 19 April from Governor of Victoria, Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Margaret Gardner AC.

Mrs Wallbridge contributed 50 years of collective service to Girl Guides Australia, Girl Guides Victoria, as a development advisor and Division Commissioner, and Mornington Peninsula Girl Guides, where girls in her group gave her the special name of ‘Snowflake’.

“One of them said I was like a snowflake – I flitted from one to the other, and it stuck,” she recalled.

Mrs Wallbridge was also a long-time member of the Mornington Combined Probus Club, a former coordinator of Rosebud Police Senior Citizens’ Register, and a 30-year veteran of the Down Under Dressmakers; a group of hosting fahsion parades to fundraise for charities, often with Mrs Wallbridge as compere.

All in the past now, but I have lots of lovely memories and made a lot of wonderful friends. It was all a wonderful time in my life. I enjoyed it all.”