Lorraine Rayner: International Order of the Rainbow for Girls
Lorraine adds colour to the lives of girls and young women
The $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant has so far been used to make updates to the facilities including getting a new fridge, oven and other small appliances.The Order has also used some of the money to host some school holiday activities for the wider community where they invited those within the local community to take part in a cupcake decorating day and a games day these activities also included a free lunch.
Igniting community spirit in girls is what the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls is all about. And it’s a spirit that has warmed Lorraine Rayner’s heart for 50 years.
The group for girls and young women aged 7 to 21 aims to instil community caring in members through volunteering and fundraising for local charities.
It's been a lifelong mission for Lorraine, who joined the international group when she was 12 and is now one of two Australian leaders.
“I enjoyed the social side but it also instilled in me community service and the knowledge that there’s always someone worse off than what you are,” she says.
As a senior mentor, she’s had the privilege of influencing generations of girls, helping them develop skills in everything from leadership to public speaking and decision-making to teamwork.
“It’s very rewarding to think I had a little bit of input along the way,” she says of watching girls go on to pursue their life dreams.
As a Rainbow member, you always have friends wherever you go, says Lorraine, who is still in touch with American Rainbow girls she met 48 years ago.
To her, it’s vital to have an inclusive membership where everyone is welcome and accepted. One of her most precious memories is when a vision impaired girl joined the group and learned the spoken rituals by listening to them on a cassette player.
“She was one of the best ritualists that we’ve ever had.”
Lorraine and the girls are “over the moon” that she has been voted a Westfield Local Hero.
For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here.