Joan Roper receives her OAM

Joan Roper

Former Broken Hill local Joan Roper has received her Order of Australia Medal (OAM) by THE Governor of Queensland, Dr Jeanette Young AC PSM, during a ceremony at the Governor’s residence in Brisbane.

Born in Broken Hill in 1934, Mrs Roper spent her early childhood years in Melbourne after her family relocated because of her father’s work, before moving back to Broken Hill when she was 14 years old.

Following the completion of her schooling, she began working at the Public Trust Office at the Broken Hill Courthouse, becoming the first woman to be employed in the role.

Marrying her husband Bruce in 1955, Mrs Roper worked as a piano and organ teacher in Broken Hill from the mid-1970s until 2020 where, at the age of 86, she moved to Brisbane to be closer to her family.

Mrs Roper’s OAM was bestowed upon her for her contributions to music in Broken Hill and her involvement in the Vintage and Veteran Car Club, serving as its Secretary for some years. She was instrumental in setting up the Broken Hill Eisteddfod Society, serving as its President.

Even now, at aged care facility Regis Ferny Grove, she takes every opportunity to be involved in musical performances and has a digital piano in her room which she plays every day, often joined by her daughter Caroline for duets.

“I don’t know what all the fuss was about with the medal. I was just doing what I love to do”, Mrs Roper humbly said about receiving the OAM.

Regis Ferny Grove General Manager, Kimberley Reimers, said of “vivacious Joan” that she’s “humble and the high note of the day for many”.

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