Cobar mayor Lilliane Brady has passed away at the age of 90

VALE: Cobar mayor Lilliane Brady has passed away at the age of 90.Photo: Jacky Ghossein
VALE: Cobar mayor Lilliane Brady has passed away at the age of 90.Photo: Jacky Ghossein

Cobar mayor Lilliane Brady has passed away at the age of 90.

Lilliane is the longest serving female mayor in NSW's history, and best known for being an outspoken champion, not just for the Cobar Shire, but for Western NSW.

It was announced by the Cobar Shire Council on Sunday morning Lilliane had passed away peacefully overnight.

"It is with great sadness and respect that we inform you on behalf of Cobar Shire Council that the Mayor, Lilliane Brady OAM, has passed away peacefully in Cobar overnight," the council said.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and loved ones."

Some people had never heard of Cobar, in the states far west, and neither had Lilliane before she moved there in the late 1960s.

"When I first came to Cobar, I didn't want to get out of the car," Lilliane told Australian Community Media in 2018.

She moved to Cobar with a young family after her late husband Alan secured a job as the local GP. Lilliane only expected to stay 12 months, but instead stayed for more than 50 years.

In 1974 she ran for council election after seeing a man in his 80s was transferred from the local hospital to an aged care facility in Orange, five hours away. He died alone.

"I went to see the hospital CEO, who told me it was policy," she said.

"I told him to stick it, I'll build a facility."

Lilliane began lobbying the federal government for grants and spearheaded extensive fundraising efforts in the community with the Cobar Geriatric Committee and Cobar Geriatric Care Committee.

The hard work paid off. In 1982, Lilliane Brady Village opened as a 14-bed nursing home with nine self-care units.

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Since then it has grown into a 34-bed not-for-profit facility comprising a hostel and a nursing home, plus there's a multipurpose health centre connecting the village and the hospital.

In recognition of her work, Lillian was presented with a Local Government NSW Lifetime Achievement Award - the first of its kind ever presented.

Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock expressed her condolences to Cr Brady's family, labelling the mayor a tireless rural advocate.

"I sincerely thank Lilliane for the tremendous contribution she made to her community, the NSW local government sector and the advancement of equality for women in public life," Ms Hancock said in a statement.

"Last year I had the pleasure of presenting the inaugural Minister for Local Government Award for Women to Lilliane to formally recognise her exceptional contribution to her community and our state."

Deputy Premier and Regional NSW Minister John Barilaro also said he was heartbroken to hear of Cr Brady's death, with AAP reporting he was "in awe of her passion and her fight, her ability to always say how it was".

NSW Labor in a statement hailed Cr Brady as a "local legend" with a passion for her community.

"Lilliane was tough and always a fighter for her community. It is difficult to imagine Cobar without its long-time mayor, who put her heart and soul into fighting for a fair go," opposition Leader Jodi McKay said.

This story Longest serving female mayor passes away at the age of 90 first appeared on Daily Liberal.