Outstanding women recognised at ceremony

TWO old Gympie families were surprised to meet up at the 2014 Order of Australia ceremony in Brisbane on May 13.

Members of the Bishop and Cox families were on hand to see Shirley Bishop awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the community of Gympie and Dr Carol Cox of Toowoomba appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to medicine in rural and remote areas as a general practitioner, to education, and to professional medical organisations.

The awards were conferred by Queensland Governor Penelope Wensley at Government House where the two families were delighted to meet up again.

Mrs Bishop has been a dedicated volunteer over many year for numerous Gympie organisations including the Gympie Show, St Patrick's Parish, St Vincent de Paul Society, Gympie Meals on Wheels, the Gympie Pony Club and the Red Cross Activity Therapy Centre.

To name a few of her many achievements, Dr Cox helped form family planning clinics in Toowoomba, has worked with the Royal Flying Doctor Service and been a fixture on the University of Southern Queensland's Ethics Committee.

She was the first female president of the Toowoomba and District Branch of the Australian Medical Association of Queensland.

Dr Cox is the wife of Dr John Cox, the eldest son of the former Major Stan Cox, a pharmacist who owned and managed Cox's Pharmacy in Mary St, Gympie from soon after the Second World War until he passed away in 1981.

Stan Cox was also the chairman of Board of Directors of The Gympie Times at the time of his death. His grandfather William Cox was an alderman on the Gympie City Council in the late 18th century.