Mary-Louise Pearson OAM
Marie-Louise Pearson grew up in a household where giving back was second nature. From a young age, she would join her Dad as he donated his time to the Red Cross, advisory boards and many community agencies.
The inspiration of her Dad and the Salvation Army shaped her desire to continue supporting the community, even after she lost everything during Cyclone Tracy.
“After the Cyclone, there was nothing to do in Darwin, so someone came up with the idea of hosting a women’s fashion show. I thought it was a great idea and got involved, I was only 16 at the time.”
Marie-Louise got her first taste of being on a board when she joined the school council at her children’s school over 25 years ago. This sparked something in her and she has since been involved with a number of organisations including the Darwin Symphony Orchestra, Carers NT, Chung Wah Society of the Northern Territory, Institute of Managers and Leaders and Carers Australia – just to name a few.
“I have a life of helping where I can, to me it is very normal, and for me it is just what I do.”
Marie-Louise’s commitment, generosity and selfless nature is being recognised with a Medal of the Order of Australia.
“I’m not known to be silent, I’m known to have a chat but when I found out about the award, I went into a total spin. I didn’t know what to do, I just had to go for a walk and breathe deeply. I was actually in tears, I couldn’t believe this Honour was for me, I am so grateful and thankful for whoever nominated me.
“My Dad, Eddie Quong, was one of the early recipients in the Order of Australia, receiving an OAM in 1980 for his service to the community.”
Marie-Louise speaks passionately about her accomplishments. One of her greatest highlights was being a part of the Darwin Symphony Orchestra’s (DSO) first every trip to Uluru.
“The DSO did a performance under the stars in front of Uluru with camels, didgeridoos, trumpets and more. It was the most humbling, beautiful and moving experience to be doing opera on sacred indigenous land with first nation’s people with us.”
Marie-Louise has nominated people in the past and plans to continue to do so. She believes that being recognised and acknowledged is one of the best things that can happen to someone that donates their time, energy and resources to the community.
The Order of Australia relies on nominations to acknowledge worthy Australians. Nominations can be made at any time, by anyone – find out more.