Chairman’s Message

CHAIRMAN’S CHRISTMAS MESSAGE DECEMBER 2020

Dear NSW Members,

Peter Ronald Alfred Falk OAM – CHAIRMAN NSW BRANCH

As 2020 comes to a close, I wanted to thank all of our >2500 Members for their support during this especially challenging year.
Whilst we have not been able to meet each other face to face due to the COVID-19 restrictions, we have thankfully been able to keep in touch via email and ZOOM, and to hear from some of our Members through our Thanks for Asking initiative.

The Member stories are on our website at https://www.theorderofaustralia.asn.au/nsw/about-us/

With our interstate borders now mostly open, at least we can visit family and friends, and possibly have a holiday over the Christmas/New Year period.

A reminder that we will go ahead with our annual Australia Day Sydney Harbour Cruise on Tuesday 26 January. Places are limited, so we ask that you reserve your place as soon as details are advised (by email shortly).

Member Survey Results:
I am very pleased to share the results of our Member Survey with everyone. The response rate was high, and your feedback and comments are very helpful. See the attachment for details.

It seems that our members do enjoy our Thanks for Asking initiative, and some have suggested we expand this to sharing general stories about our members, not just related to COVID-19. If you would like to share your story, or want to recommend another member for us to hear about, please let our Communications Liaison, Louise Davis know. louisedavis622@gmail.com

Other suggestions made by our members are being considered by our NSW Committee. I will send an update in January.

I hope to see some of our members at our Christmas Fundraising Luncheon at The Kirribilli Club, on Saturday 12 December. (ref to John Gullotta’s email of 16 November for details). RSVP deadline, 4 December.

Best wishes from me, and our Committee to all members and their families for a very happy and safe Christmas, and a peaceful and less challenging New Year ahead.

Peter Falk OAM
The Order of Australia Association
NSW Branch Chairman
Email: pfalk@bigpond.com

Click here for results of recent Survey


Peter Falk OAM
Order of Australia Association
NSW Branch Chairman
https://www.theorderofaustralia.asn.au/nsw/news
Email: pfalk@bigpond.com


Dear NSW Members,

Another month with COVID-19 restrictions in place has passed since my last note. We are all hoping that the Victorian “lock-down” will end soon, and that interstate borders will be opened at least more than at the present time. Thankfully the NSW restrictions are not too stringent.

We have heard from more of our Members who have responded to our “Thanks for Asking” initiative. Thanks to all who have shared their thoughts and experiences with us. We do enjoy reading about the many different ways NSW members have been dealing with these very unusual times.

Thanks to Greg Blaze OAM and Brother Nicholas Harsas, fsp OAM for their stories (see below). More will be published in “The Order” November issue.

Our thanks to Lindsay Callaghan OAM for his years of service to our Branch as Regional Convenor for Blue Mountains/Hawkesbury/Nepean and a warm welcome to John Wakefield OAM who has agreed to take on this role. I look forward to catching up with John and his wife Susan Wakefield OAM when meeting restrictions allow.

In early October you will receive another email from me which will include a Survey about Membership of the NSW Branch. We do hope you will respond to the survey, which is quite short, but important, as we are keen to hear how we might be able to make your experiences as a Member as relevant as possible.

In September, our Patron, The Governor of NSW, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC welcomed the Australia Day Awardees to Government House for their Investitures. We look forward to meeting new Members in the future, when social distancing is not such an issue for event planning.

We are hopeful that a pre-Christmas gathering may be possible. Stay tuned for an update on this, and on our annual Australia Day luncheon cruise on Sydney Harbour.

If you would like to share your story about life during COVID-19, please send an email to our Communications Liaison, louisedavis622@gmail.com

Best wishes from me, and from our Committee.

Peter Falk OAM
The Order of Australia Association NSW
Branch Chairman
https://wwwtheorderofaustralia.asn.au/nsw/news


Dear NSW Members,

Further to my last update email on 28 July, and Chairman’s Report in “The Order” August Issue, I wanted to bring you up to date on our latest news during these very different times as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. Hopefully there is light at the end of the tunnel in terms of new cases in NSW, and we are all praying for some good news from Victoria.

Until Government restrictions are lifted, we continue to operate virtually. We had our Branch Committee meeting by Zoom this week, when we discussed the proposed new Constitution and By-Laws in some depth. My grateful thanks to Jim Mein AM for his hard work with the National Board on these important documents.

I hope everyone has read “The Order”, August Edition and has participated in the magazine reader survey. This is an important opportunity for all of us to give feedback about our most significant communications tool. The survey can be found on pages 9 and 10 in the Magazine. Due date for the Survey’s return is 23 September.

Do watch out for our NSW Member survey re “Member Benefits” in October. This will likely be conducted on Survey Monkey. Our Membership Officer Michael Maher OAM is leading this important work.

We have now published more than 11 “Thanks for Asking” stories from NSW Members. Two more will be included in this note, from John Howells OAM RFD, and David Parkinson OAM. We enjoy reading about how our Members are spending their time during COVID-19. If you would like to contribute, please send an email to our Communications Liaison, Louise Davis AM, at louisedavis622@gmail.com

Thanks to John and David for their “Thanks for Asking” contributions:
Peter Falk OAM
The Order of Australia Association NSW
Branch Chairman


Since my last update on 26 June, we have been advised that, as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, Investitures for Australia Day Honours awardees will now be held at Government House Sydney in September. Guest numbers are restricted, and we will need to wait until venue rules are relaxed before we hold a welcome reception for these new Honours Award recipients.  Queen’s Birthday Honours Awardees will hopefully have their Investitures later in the year.

The good news is, we have booked our annual Australia Day luncheon cruise Australia Day January 26, 2021. However, we will be restricted to having a maximum of 80 guests, assuming there are no further restrictions. Stay tuned for any updates.

We have so far published 9 “Thanks for Asking” stories from Members and will include 2 more in this Update.  Any members who would like to share their experiences during COVID please send an email to our Community Liaison Louise Davis AM at louisedavis622@gmail.com

As part of our review of Member Benefits we will conduct an online survey in October. We hope as many people as possible will respond so that we get a better understanding of what our Members appreciate and what we could consider in the future. Our Membership Officer, Michael Maher OAM will lead this work.

We held our regular Committee Meeting this week, by Zoom video conference due to the restrictions on face to face meetings.  Especially while we are living with restrictions in terms of meetings and events, our web coordinator Christopher Dunne OAM reminded us to keep him up to date with any news, especially from Regional Members.  Please contact Chris at christopher.dunne@bigpond.com if you have any local news which would be of interest to other members.

Our newly appointed Branch Director, Jim Mein AM has been appointed to the National Board’s Audit and Risk Committee.  Graham Hyde OAM from Queensland has been appointed the new National Secretary of The Order of Australia Association.

The 2021 National Conference (planned for Darwin) has been cancelled.

Thank you to Margaret Hamilton AM of Blackheath, and Margie Beck AM for their “Thanks for Asking” stories.

My best wishes and those of our Committee to all of our NSW Members as we all travel together through the Pandemic and its effects on our Communities.

Peter Falk OAM
The Order of Australia Association NSW

Branch Chairman
https://theorderofaustralia.asn.au/nsw/news