Queen’s Birthday Honours 2018 | Kathleen Hobson OAM

Love of community: Ballarat's Kathleen Hobson has received a Medal of the Order of Australia for her community work with Anglicare and the Botanical Gardens. She is seated next to a photo of her late husband, Philip Hobson. Picture: Lachlan Bence
Love of community: Ballarat's Kathleen Hobson has received a Medal of the Order of Australia for her community work with Anglicare and the Botanical Gardens. She is seated next to a photo of her late husband, Philip Hobson. Picture: Lachlan Bence

A tireless worker for Ballarat’s Botanical Gardens and Anglicare’s emergency relief centre has been rewarded for her dedication to improving the lives of others. 

Softly spoken and shy around the spotlight, Kathleen Hobson has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in Monday’s celebrations. Moving to Ballarat with her husband Philip in the 1950s, Mrs Hobson said her fortunate life drove her to help others.

“Anglicare has grown tremendously since I became involved, a much bigger organisation,” Mrs Hobson said, having worked for 20 years with the emergency relief team. “That’s been very exciting.”

“When you see how many underprivileged people we do have in Ballarat, that’s the sadness of it … I’ve been very fortunate to bring my children up in Ballarat. 

When you think about it, you say, ‘I’d like every child in Ballarat to have the privileges my children have had.’

Kathleen Hobson OAM

The late Mr Hobson was also deeply involved in the community, as a Ballarat Health Services board member for 40 years and an active participant in the city’s musical theatre scene. 

The couple raised five children in Ballarat – Anne, Jane, Ruth, Fiona, and musical theatre star David. 

A former vice-president of the Friends of Ballarat Botanical Gardens, and a member for 21 years, she has a “love of gardens and the community”. Mrs Hobson is now dedicated to digging up historical treasures at the Public Records Office.

“There’s so much history, I could talk about it for a week,” she said.

“One of the lovely things that has happened is the cottage is being restored. Now we’re just patiently waiting for it to be totally restored, then it will be used for the BotaniKIDS, a wonderful organisation.”

As part of her association with the Anglican Church, Mrs Hobson spearheaded a push for a radiology clinic, later raising money for Gandarra and Hospice through a floral festival.

“I probably accept this on behalf of all those wonderful people with whom I have worked,” Mrs Hobson said.