Wendy Carver, OAM
A Medal of the Order of Australia has been awarded to Wendy Carver, the CEO of Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury (H2H), one of the largest Lifeline centres in the national network. Mrs Carver was recognised for Services to Community Mental Health over a period of more than 30 years with the organisation.
A resident of St Ives, Mrs Carver has filled many roles at Lifeline H2H over those three decades. In 1988, she first became involved with the charity as a volunteer Telephone Crisis Supporter (TCS), undergoing the intensive training that enabled her to assist help seekers phoning the 13 11 14 crisis support and suicide prevention line. She stayed on the phones answering these calls for ten years, and became a member of the board during that time.
From 1996 to 2006, she worked as Services Manager. Also in 1996, she began an 11-year stint as a Personal Counsellor, using her tertiary qualifications in Counselling and Therapy to help Lifeline clients face to face.
In 2007, she became Lifeline H2H’s CEO, and has remained so since. She has seen her tenure as one of “overseeing an evolving journey of growth focused on meeting more community needs through the provision of more tailored services, while simultaneously opening up new funding pathways to support that growth – and all of it with the aim of helping Lifeline save more lives.”
Mrs Carver is seen by all who know her personally and professionally as a most deserving recipient of the prestigious Australia Day award. Board member Peter Tuchin says, “Throughout the more than 30 years she’s been associated with Lifeline, she has always quietly given above and beyond in the numerous and varied roles she’s held within the organisation”. He adds that “under her extraordinarily effective and approachable leadership, Lifeline H2H has grown from strength to strength.”
While Mrs Carver has been overwhelmed by the media attention and the generous expressions of congratulations by friends and colleagues past and present, she regards the award as something more than an acknowledgment of her own achievements. “For me,” she says, “this is about what ALL OF US at Lifeline H2H have achieved and the countless people we have helped. And for that I do feel humbled and truly grateful.”