An Invitation to Nominate a Life Member

COGS’ life membership appointments celebrate the importance of volunteers to the Society and the wider community, as well as recognising the considerable contributions made by individuals to the work of COGS. To date, about 22 life members have been appointed.

Life membership, provided for under the Constitution, is an honour bestowed on members whose outstanding service and contribution to COGS has provided considerable benefit to the organisation over an extended period. As a token of COGS’ appreciation, life members’ membership fees are waived, (they pay normal fees for plots they may have) and they receive COGS’ Magazine.

Nominations are assessed against the following criteria:

  • service to COGS over a long period of time
  • specific achievements that further the aims and objectives of COGS
  • provision of valued leadership and/or being an outstanding role model to members
  • service reflecting favourably and bringing great credit to COGS.

Written nominations (using the form at Attachment A) are invited from financial members of COGS who should approach a COGS committee member (garden convenors can provide contact details) with written information addressing the above criteria in support of the proposed life member. Only current financial members of COGS are eligible for life membership. The sponsoring committee member will ask the full committee to consider the nomination. Life membership awards will be announced at the next Annual General Meeting (held in March), and appointments, along with a summary of their contribution to COGS, published in the COGS Magazine. Nominations supporting the 2022 appointments are shown below as a guide. Signed Life membership nomination forms should be received by the Secretary ( from the sponsoring committee member for discussion by the full committee by the end of October each year.

2022 Life Membership appointments

Andy Hrast

1. Service to COGS over a long period of time

The following timeline demonstrates Andy commitment and service to the Canberra Organic Growers Society Inc. (COGS) and its members over a considerable period. Andy joined COGS in 1988 and first took up a plot in the original Cotter Garden before transferring to the new Betty Cornhill Garden in 1990 when Cotter closed. 

Andy’s contribution to the development of the Betty Cornhill garden as both gardener and Convenor is greatly appreciated by past and present garden members. His active involvement in the management of COGS spans more than 20 years, including Betty Cornhill Garden Convenor 2003 – 2006, COGS Committee Member 2011 – 2013, Secretary 2013 – 2016, Treasurer 2016 – Aug 2020 and PresidentAug 2020 – 2023.

2. Specific achievements that further the aims and objectives of COGS

Andy has provided outstanding leadership for COGS as an organisation that promotes organic growing principles and practice. He has developed supportive and respectful relationships with members within his own garden (Betty Cornhill Garden) and at the management level of COGS through his work as a Garden Convenor, Executive committee member, Secretary, Treasurer and latterly as President. His knowledge and experience have provided a foundation for the continuing development of COGS as a prime source for implementing and commenting on organic growing practices within the general Canberra community. 

3. Provision of valued leadership and/or being an outstanding role model to members

Andy’s commitment to his organic gardening practice is well known and enables him to provide advice and encouragement to fellow gardeners at the Betty Cornhill Garden and to others through the extensive COGS network of community gardens.

As COGS Treasurer, Andy established accounting procedures and practices that ensured the future financial stability of the organisation. In a difficult period for the organisation due to long term drought conditions Andy established a means to balance COGS membership and plot fees to meet the challenge of increasing water utility costs and overall infrastructure needs.

As COGS President Andy led a very successful Planning Workshop (February 2021) designed to help COGS meet several challenges to the wellbeing and longevity of the organisation and its members. Subsequently Andy led the complex work of a special subcommittee to simplify and modernize content for a new COGS Constitution. The new Constitution was ratified by the membership at a special general meeting in October 2022.

4. Service reflecting favorably and bringing great credit to COGS

Andy’s commitment and loyalty to the COGS organisation for over 15 years is very much appreciated and underpins his relationships with the wider community and relevant ACT government departments. He provides steady and thoughtful leadership from which the organisation benefits greatly.

Terry Williams

1. Service to COGS over a long period of time

Terry has been a member of COGS for almost 20 years and for most of those years he has served in various leadership roles. Even when not in an official position he has provided service and support to COGS. He continues to play an important role in the background, keeping key parts of COGS running and developing to meet the changing needs of COGS and its membership.

2. Specific achievements that further the aims and objectives of COGS

Terry has served on the COGS Executive Committee, providing valuable input to the management of COGS. In particular, he has provided skills in IT and finance in the development of the COGS finance system and its website.

Although Terry no longer has a plot at the Oaks Estate Garden, he has continued as a COGS member and provides an invaluable role in the operation of COGS:

  • working closely with editor on the printing and posting of the quarterly Canberra Organic magazine
  • manages the distribution of the “all member” mail outs; and
  • most recently has been working with members of the COGS Executive on the digitalisation of COGS records

3. Provision of valued leadership and/or being an outstanding role model to members

As Convenor for the Oaks Estate Garden, including a difficult period when some members of the local community were opposed to the garden, Terry showed great leadership and perseverance. During this time Terry kept the garden going, including successfully applying for grant funding.

4. Service reflecting favorably and bringing great credit to COGS

These initiatives at both the garden and COGS management levels demonstrate Terry’s management skills and commitment to COGS. COGS’ Oaks Estate garden and COGS would be in a far poorer state today if it was not for the unstinting contributions that Terry has made over many years and continues to make.

2023 Nominations for life membership of COGS

The COGS Constitution provides for life membership to be awarded to a member whose outstanding service and contribution has provided considerable benefit to COGS over an extended period. The awarding of a life membership is a celebration of the importance of volunteers to the Society.

The Life Membership Nomination Form can be downloaded here. The form is a digital PDF form, allowing text to be entered prior to printing or written in following printing.

Signed Life membership nomination forms should be sent by email to the Secretary (

COGS Life Members

Allen, Margaret
Barrell, Vance
Carden, Peter
Carden, Shirley
Colls, Keith (Cook)
Cornhill, Betty (Cotter now BCG)
DuPlessis, Emsie
Fazekas, Adrienne (Cook)
Flowers, Mary
Horobin, Richard
Hrast, Andy
Johnson, Michelle
Laws, Gordon
MacLean, Narelle
Molnar, Barney
Odell, David
Palmer, Elizabeth
Steensby, Walter
Sutton, Steven (Theodore)
Van Hast, Conrad
Walters, Rose
Williams, Terry