Small feet but big shoes to fill: 'Lil' Brady

Cobar mayor Lilliane Olive Brady OAM farewelled


Photos from Brady's State Funeral


Passionate, infectious, proud, outspoken, confident, a straight shooter, horse lover and "much more that can't be said in public, even though she would have".

Cobar Shire Council mayor Lilliane Olive Brady OAM has been remembered for her love for the town of Cobar and her work as a champion for Western NSW.

Lilliane was farewelled by thousands on Friday with a state funeral at Drummond Park in Cobar.

The service was led by Father Paul Finucane, with a eulogy delivered by her three children Suzanne, Deidrei and Pally.

"During the last week we've heard phrases such as unmitigated force of nature, fierce advocate, top fighter. All very well deserved, but to us she wasn't just mayor Brady, she was our mum, and a nana, a far more important role to her," daughter Suzanne said.

The Mitchell Highway was closed during the funeral, while people from across the state gathered to say farewell to the much-loved mayor.

Lilliane was remembered for her 40 years on council, and 23 years served as mayor of the Cobar Shire. She was best known for her renowned no-nonsense approach and dogged fundraising for those in the community.

Cobar Shire Council general manager Peter Vlatko choked up while delivering a eulogy on Friday which described Lilliane Brady in her own words as a "no bullshit" mayor.

However, among all the tears there were a lot of laughs.

Mr Vlatko highlighted Lilliane's sense of humour, recalling a time when she attended a meeting at the former Dubbo City Council and drove into the car park where a sign read 'mayor parking only'.

"I am told she explained to the mayor of Dubbo at the time that the sign should be more specific," he said.

"The following week a new sign was erected saying 'Dubbo mayor parking only'."

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

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Lilliane was first elected as a councillor on the Cobar Shire Council in July 1976, 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.

However after 12 years she was fed up with their "lack of vigour so she told them to stick it" and resigned in March 1988.

She then returned to Cobar Shire Council in September 1995, the same year she was first elected as mayor.

Lilliane held the mayor position until September 2001, and remained a councillor until September 2007.

Following the local government election in 2007, Lilliane was re-elected and her fellow councillors elected her as mayor.

From there she never looked back becoming the longest serving female mayor in NSW history.

Crowds lined the main street of Cobar as Lilliane made last trip through town on her way to Sunset Gardens.

She followed by her red Holden Commodore bearing her famous LOB 003 plates, which will be passed on to her granddaughter Neisha.

Lilliane is survived by her three children Suzanne Graham, Deidrei Bedwell, Allan (Pally) Brady and their families.

This story first appeared in The Dubbo Daily Liberal


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