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The Hon Dr Sharman Stone
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Murray
25 September 2001
Federal Member for Murray and Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Heritage, Sharman Stone, presented Mrs Joyce Chalmers with a Rainfall Excellence Award yesterday in a ceremony to recognise over 50 years of rainfall observations made by her family at their property at Tillara, near Balranald.
"Rainfall observations at Tillara commenced in June 1901, just 1 month after the first sitting of the newly formed Commonwealth of Australia in Melbourne", Sharman Stone said.
"The property was owned by the Hearns who did the daily observations in those days".
"The Chalmers family took over the property and the rainfall observations in 1938. They continue to collect rainfall observations today with the baton passing from David (now deceased) and Joyce, to their son David and his wife Trish".
"The Chalmers family are among the more than 6,000 volunteers around Australia that contribute to our world class weather observation and forecasting efforts".
"It is particularly important to recognise the contribution of the Bureau's volunteers during 2001, the International Year of the Volunteer. These long running records are an important part of our weather - and indeed the nation's - history".
Sharman Stone said that in recent years the volunteer observers network had been supplemented by the latest technical advancements.
"Northern Victoria and Southern NSW residents can now access the latest weather at www.bom.gov.au including forecasts, warnings and a continually updated radar image of the latest conditions direct from 44 dedicated weather watch radars around Australia".
"As well as relying on some of the most modern meteorological equipment available anywhere in the world, the volunteer network are still a most important cog in the weather wheel", Sharman Stone said.
Joyce Chalmers retired to Belbrae, near Torquay, in 1992 where she continues to take an active interest in observing the weather.
Simon Frost 0419 495 468
September 25th 2001
Joyce Chalmers and Sharman Stone MP with the volunteer certificate
Joyce Chalmers with Sharman Stone MP and Kevin O'Loughlin from the Bureau of Meteorology