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Mataura community worker Anzac of the year

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 22/04/2016

Barbara Cunningham, a champion of projects to help others in the Southland community of Mataura, has received the 2016 governor-general's Anzac of the year award.

The Mataura community garden is an initiative that grew from an idea of Ms Cunningham's, Sir Jerry Mateparae says.

"She was concerned that many people didn't know how to grow plants, and she could see the potential for a community garden to help support struggling families in the area," he said.

Ms Cunningham and the Mataura community garden group took over provision of the meals on wheels service to Mataura residents when they discovered that the meals were pre-made and frozen in bulk.

The group set about providing locally made, fresh meals, within the set budgets and using produce donated by the community garden.

Ms Cunningham is a former midwife and has lived in Mataura for 33 years. In 2012 she was elected to the Mataura Community Board and has held that position since.

"Barbara lives her life in the spirit of the Anzac. She is a community minded, compassionate, driven individual," Sir Jerry says.

The governor-general hosts the award in partnership with the RSA.

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