Seven north coast residents have been honoured in this year’s Queen’s Birthday honours list for a wide variety of services to the community.
The Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, approved the awards that recognised 582 Australians for diverse contributions and service to fellow citizens in Australia and internationally saying they ‘elevated the concept of giving to others, heightened our respect for one another, and encouraged us to think about the responsibilities of citizenship in our democracy’.
Another 199 citizens received awards for meritorious or military service.
‘I want to give my strong support to the awards made through the Australian Honours System,’ Ms Bryce said.
‘Awards in the Australian honours system represent the highest level of recognition accorded by our nation for outstanding achievement and service. The honours announced today recognise community values and celebrate what is important and unifying in Australian life.’
The seven local recipients of the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) were:
- Raymond Hunt, of Coraki, for service to the northern rivers community through his volunteer and fundraising work in aged care, Driver Reviver, the Baptist Community Services, the State Emergency Service and other community groups.
- Ian McKnight, of Tweed Heads, for his service to lawn bowls supporting the Tweed Bryon District Bowling and the Cudgen Leagues Bowling clubs, as well as the Royal New South Wales Bowling Association where he is currently the deputy president.
- Richmond Manyweathers, of Alstonville, for service to the community, particularly through Rotary International, championing health issues like immunisation and the eradication of polio and malaria, and developing school facilities in Papua New Guinea.
- Peter Painter, of Kyogle, for service to the community of Kyogle through the Kyogle Pony Club and the Pony Club Association of NSW as well as the Kyogle Agricultural Show and Kyogle High School.
- Trevor Phillips, of Yamba, for service to the community of Yamba through a range of organisations including Rotary, Maclean Shire Council, the Yamba Surf Life Saving Club, Yamba Seagulls Youth Club, Yamba bush fire brigade and the SES.
- Bartholomew Plenkovich, of Alstonville, for service to the communities of Broadwater and the lower Richmond River region, and to the sugar cane industry. He was the unit controller of the Broadwater SES for 38 years until he retired in 2010. The headquarters originally operated out of his house and he remains the longest serving member of the NSW SES.
- Ian Rabbits, of Fingal Head, for service to the environment through coast care and environmental conservation. He has been actively involved in the restoration of the Tweed coast’s dune vegetation particularly after sand mining activity in the 1970s.