Keen gardener and long-time wildlife carer Jan Llewellyn has been recognised for her achievements in the Queensland Government’s My Home Awards.
She was awarded in the House Garden and Community Connection categories.
The awards celebrate connections to home, community and culture and the positive contributions of Queensland public housing tenants.
They encourage tenants to keep active, connect with their neighbours and community and share their stories and creativity.
Jan, 78, a retired nurse and veterinary nurse and proud mother and grandmother, ended up in public housing about 30 years ago.
Since that time, she has turned the yard of her Beaudesert home into a garden oasis.
There was no garden when she first became a tenant at the house and the grass was waist high, so she had to start from scratch.
Now the block is filled with native shrubs, orchids and lush tropical plant varieties, thanks to Jan’s devotion to getting out in the garden.
She also spent three decades voluntarily caring for sick and injured wildlife in Rathdowney, Jimboomba and Beaudesert until taking a step back from that six months ago.
In that time Jan, who always knew she wanted to be with animals, rescued countless birds, possums, wallabies, kangaroos, echidnas, koalas and more.
Jan received her awards from the Department of Housing in a ceremony at Ipswich with a big cake to celebrate.
She said it was encouraging to be recognised for the way she has made her house a home, and for her work in the community.
“My garden is my sanity, living on my own, and I’m out there every day – there’s always something to do,” she said.
“I love this house. A lot of housing commission gets a bad name, and I think receiving these awards shows there are people in housing commission homes who really care for the environment and their homes.
“I just like plants and it brings out the creative side too, but it also brings a lot of birds and native wildlife and that’s what I really did it for.”