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Awarded for service to the Arts, service to the Community
Entered on roll: 2011
Joan Webb was born in England in 1926. She began her working life teaching and fostering children with special needs, before moving to the Tamar Valley in 1983. Joan taught at the Mount Arthur Family School in Lilydale. She also designed and taught individual programs for the long-term unemployed and intellectually challenged adults at Adult Education.
Joan’s long involvement with the hospitality and tourism industries involved creating tourism groups to mutually promote the Tamar Valley. In the late 1980s she opened the first Wine Centre with restaurant and several bed and breakfast facilities in Northern Tasmania. In 1990, Joan organised the West Tamar ‘Exhibition of Excellence’, now known as the Beaconsfield Gold Festival.
A member of the Northern Tasmanian Women Writers, Joan has been published in The Examiner and in journals and anthologies of short stories and poetry. She has read her poetry at community events including the Tasmanian Poetry Festival and the West Tamar Council celebration of Australia Day, 2010. Her published works include a novel, The Controlling Factor (2006), based on her knowledge of children with special needs, and two books of poetry, A Twist in the Tale (2006) and Hanging by my Toe (2008). Joan’s writing draws on her experiences with traumatised teenagers and adults reflecting “those with a persecuted past” and their “determined struggle against being victims”.
Elected to the West Tamar Council in the early 1990s, Joan has been outspoken on a number of environmental issues. She was active in changing the Exeter tip to a transfer station and in preserving the Supply Mill Ruins as a community park. Joan has also been a mentor to people wishing to stand as candidates in local government.
Joan, at the age of 84, completed a Graduate Certificate in Education and is currently completing her Masters degree.