16 November 2022

I acknowledge a vibrant member of my Blue Mountains community, Mary Cox. Mary has quite a talent for penning a story. Her work has appeared on four occasions inSeniors' Stories, an annual compilation of 100 stories chosen and published by NSW Seniors' Card and distributed to the authors and libraries across our State.Seniors' Stories share incredible and diverse anecdotes from our elders. Woven into the tales are memories, knowledge, adventure and wisdom. They are rich in history and colour. Mary was born in Massachusetts and emigrated to Australia in 1976, and eventually, luckily for the Blue Mountains, she settled in our neighbourhood. We had the good fortune to work alongside one another as teachers at Lawson Public School many moons ago. In Mary's latest contribution toSeniors' Stories, she told me that she hoped to show that we are all worth celebrating. The final words of her story are:

We are different people from different places who have come together to form a unique and cherished whole. We - and our adopted country - are all the richer for it.

I could not agree more with Mary.