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Lifetime Community Service Award: Odarka Brecko

Lifetime Community Service Award: Odarka Brecko

Odarka was born in Australia three years after her parents’ arrival as refugees from war-torn Europe post World War II. For some 49 years, she has committed herself to advocating for and supporting the maintenance of Ukrainian language, culture and traditions through her work in education, youth and women’s organisations. Odarka was the first Australian born volunteer teacher at St Andrew’s Ukrainian Catholic Community Languages School and has continuously volunteered her services since she was 17-years-old. Since 1994, she has been Principal of the School while maintaining a position on the National Executive, Ukrainian Education Council and working full time with the Department of Education. She was a founding member of the Ukrainian Women’s Association, Lidcombe, Olha Basarab Branch and is the current President of the Ukrainian Women’s Association of NSW and Vice President of the Federal Executive, Ukrainian Women’s Association, Australia. She also serves on the national executive of CYM, Ukrainian Youth Organisation. As a respected member of CYM, she has committed over 50 years of dedicated service, holding positions at the branch, state and National levels. Mrs Brecko continues to volunteer ensuring broader Ukrainian organisations diversify to meet the changing needs of children and families.