CHRIS CLEARY is happy siting in the gutter talking to a homeless person and if you add in their dog she is even more at home.
Six years ago she started the StreeMed service to offer physical and mental healthcare to the homeless and three months ago she founded StreetPets to offer free veterinary care to the pets of people living on the street.
‘These pets save these guys lives,” she said. The Baulkham Hills mum and tireless volunteer doesn’t seek acknowledgement but her vital work is being recognised and she has just won the Rotary Inspirational Woman Award.
The awards were established to recognise non-Rotary women who exemplify Rotary’s motto of Service Above Self.
Chris was nominated for her work with the homeless in the area providing food during the Covid crisis when food services closed down as well as providing first aid, mental health support and advocacy.
Not only did Chris win the award in her section (Health Care Worker) out of the 20 finalists, she also won the overall Inspirational Woman of the Year Award.
“I find these awards very humbling, there are so many amazing women out there doing extraordinary things,” she said. “It’s very surreal, I still can’t believe it.”
As well as establishing StreetMed, Chris who is a first aid trainer and is a trained medic and trained in mental health and suicide prevention, has been an SES volunteer for over 24 years.
She was a volunteer mentor with the Sister2Sister program, volunteers with Camp Quality and is a volunteer with Feel the Magic, a program which helps children who have lost primary care givers or siblings.
At the moment StreetMed needs donations of Aeroguard, sunscreen and mossie coils, hand sanitisers or wipes.
Chris says that monetary donations are great for both charities because of the diverse things they need. To find out more, follow StreetMed Incorporated or StreePets_ Paws for the Homeless on Facebook or jump on to the website streetmed.org.au. All donations over $2 are tax deductible.