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Kerrie Ford OAM

In Governor-General David Hurley’s swearing-in speech in July 2019 he spoke about a richness of spirit that exists in Australian communities.

This richness of a spirit has a human face. They are the faces of ordinary, everyday Australians who live in our community. Selfless people who put community first.

One of those people is Kerrie Ford from Holbrook in New South Wales. In June 2021, Kerrie was recognised with a Medal of the Order of Australia. She received an OAM for ‘outstanding contribution to community history’.

Ms Kerrie Ford OAM

In 1995 Kerrie co-founded the National Museum of Australian Pottery, the only museum dedicated to 19th and early 20th century pottery. For the last 14 years she has been Secretary/Treasurer of the Friends of the National Museum of Australian Pottery. Kerrie is also a published author, having co-written various articles and books including Australian Pottery: The First Hundred Years.

“The Medal is, I think, recognition for the work that my husband, Geoff, and I have done in Australian pottery. It’s been our passion and we’ve have been involved in all facets of pottery – studying, researching, collecting and preserving.”

In 2006 Kerrie and Geoff relocated their National Museum of Australian Pottery from Wodonga to Holbrook. The Museum is home to about 2,000 pieces of domestic pottery from 126 Australian pottery companies.

Kerrie is immensely proud of the Museum and says it has been the highlight of her life.

“The engagement of the public in the Museum and in pottery is enormously rewarding. For children in particular, they get to learn that there is something manufactured in this country and that it’s not all Tupperware and plastics!

“There is now recognition for pottery made in Australia and not from, say, England.”

Recognition for Kerrie in the Order of Australia came as a complete surprise.

“A letter arrived in the mail, out of the blue. I was totally shocked. I had no idea whatsoever. I feel very honoured and privileged to have been considered for an award.

“The reaction of people was amazing. People came up to me in the street. I received phone calls and cards. Just the other day I received a letter from the National Archives of Australia.

“For anyone thinking of nominating someone for a Medal, do it! It is important that people are recognised.

“I don’t do what I do for recognition. I do it because I love it and because we have a unique opportunity to increase people’s appreciation and enjoyment of our early Australian pottery heritage.”

It’s called a richness of spirit.