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Central Coast Conservatorium of Music Chair, Claire Braund, has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the 2024 King’s Birthday honours “for service to business, women and the Central Coast”.

A social entrepreneur and businesswoman based on the NSW Central Coast, Claire was elected to the Central Coast Conservatorium board in 2016. Claire is also the co-founder of Gosford-based Women on Boards, which she set up in 2006 following a career in journalism and public relations.

In accepting the honour, Claire said she was grateful and “truly humbled” to have received an OAM. “The Conservatorium of Music has been a cause dear to my heart for many years and it has been a pleasure to be able to serve on the board and now as Chair,” said Claire.

“Working with the NSW Government and Member for Terrigal Adam Crouch to secure tenure on our site and $2.4m in funding for our building was a definite highlight, as was bringing Dr Anita Collins to the Central Coast, recruiting a new CEO Dr Lisa Barnes and building a new highly skills-based board. 

“Seeing the joy that music brings and knowing the impact it has on the lives of our young people is a reward in itself, so an OAM is really icing on the cake!.  My sincere thanks to all of those in the community who have reached out to express their congratulations. It is very much appreciated.”

Member for Terrigal, Adam Crouch, also congratulated Claire:  “I have had the pleasure of knowing Claire for years now and have engaged extensively with her in different capacities as the founder of Women on Boards, on the board of Coast Shelter and through the Central Coast Conservatorium of Music.”

“In her roles within the Conservatorium, I worked closely with Claire to secure millions in funding for upgrades to the Conservatorium’s premises and cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award than Claire.”

“Claire has also consistently worked to support and improve the lives of women around her and has been a strong and passionate advocate for numerous volunteer causes. I was proud to recognise Claire as the Terrigal Local Woman of the Year to celebrate Claire’s achievements.”