Australian Lithuanians Martina Reisgys from Sydney and Barbara Šilinis from Canberra have been honoured with Medals of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the 2009 Queen’s Birthday Australian
Honours List for Services to the Lithuanian Communities in Sydney and Canberra respectively.
Martina Reisgys at her spinning wheel
Martina Reisgys has been an outstanding member of the Lithuanian community in Sydney and of the wider Australian community. Over many years she has taken part and worked as a
volunteer in many community activities and in presenting Lithuanian culture to the wider Australian community. For nearly thirty years she has been a member and an office bearer with the
Sydney Lithuanian Women's Social Services Association. A major activity of the Association has been building and administering the Lithuanian Retirement Village in Engadine, a suburb of
Sydney. Martina has been very active in promoting traditional Lithuanian folk crafts, especially the weaving of traditional sashes (“juostas”). She has instigated the folk-art group “Ratelis” in
Sydney and has given lessons to other enthusiasts. Her work in this area has been demonstrated in numerous exhibitions.
For over 30 years Barbara Šilinis has been a very active member of the Canberra Lithuanian community. She has been involved with the folk dancing group, scouts, the Canberra Lithuanian
Club, at one stage becoming its President. She continues on the Committee of the Canberra Lithuanian Community and currently has the position of functions organiser.
Congratulations Martina and Barbara!