New South Wales

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Dear NSW Members,

We thoroughly enjoyed this week’s NEW RECIPIENTS WELCOME LUNCHEON in the State Parliament House Strangers Dining Room where we were entertained by Sophie Scott OAM’s enlightening sharing of her experiences, especially as The ABC’s Medical Reporter. I never tire of hearing new and old Member stories of why they were nominated. They are always inspiring, uplifting, amazing, challenging and humbling. That sharing is a huge membership benefit. We thank Branch Deputy Chairman John Gullotta AM and his team for organization of this event to congratulate the King’s Birthday Order of Australia
November has always been a special month in my calendar because of the significance of
REMEMBRANCE DAY on 11th. This year is more important to me as I wonder about the future of our world with so many global disruptions caused by conflict, global warming, increasing poverty and refugee numbers, the troubling cost of living, and fear. What is the future facing our younger and future generations?

I begin firstly with the remembrance of those who fought in the two World Wars, and subsequently in European, Asian, Pacific and Middle East conflicts wherein Australians and New Zealanders served and many lost their lives, including those involved in the peacekeeping and peacemaking contributions of military, police and civilians who have or still are serving overseas. We are a relatively small population but we have a strong international focus and concern for the tomorrows.

For me, promotion of interfaith dialogue was one of my Award citations. It began from my sideline involvement in the infamous Cronulla riots in Sydney which resulted in two lifechanging overseas study tours to Turkey and later to Palestine and Israel. I continue to work with many Australian faith-based organisations, each of which has a foundational commitment to “love my neighbour as myself.” As part of this work, I have had to learn to listen intentionally and zip my mouth as I do not know everything, nor should I pre-judge until I understand the “other” and their point of view and experience.

Furthermore, we are all connected, being human beings, and we are the same under our skins. We should welcome all migrants to our country as we have much to learn from each other. A new aspect of this I learnt recently from one of our First Peoples, post The Referendum:
“Our shadows project the same colour across humanity, irrespective of skin colour, race and other
differences…Lets wake up the world to the love of world humanity and welcome all… Our shadows have been with us always.”
So let us also remember these words from the official prayer of the Order of Australia Association:
“Inspire us who have been honoured by our nation for our contributions to society to work for a better world and to help others achieve their aspirations. Give us strength and wisdom to apply our skills and the will to continue to serve our nation to advance Australia.”

Remember those who have served locally, nationally and internationally. We thank them, knowing it is our responsibility to continue to commit to a better world and genuinely care about the needs of others. Best wishes,
Jim Mein AM, Branch Chairman, Order of Australia Association NSW, [email protected]



 Our 2023 Christmas luncheon will be held in the Harbourview Lounge at the Kirribilli Club in Lavender Bay.
The Guest Speaker will be Dr Helen Nugent AC who is the Chairman of The Order of Australia Association Foundation.
There will also be entertainment by renowned tenor Gaetano Bonfante and Soprano Julie Lee Goodwin, with a Christmas theme.
This luncheon is a fundraiser to support The Order of Australia Association Foundation, which is supporting the next generation of leaders by helping promising young Australians to achieve their potential.
Bookings via:


 Our Annual Cruise aboard MV Captain Cook III is a great day on our beautiful harbour with good food, drinks and an opportunity for front row seats on picturesque Sydney Harbour! To be held on Australia Day – Friday 26th January 2024. Bookings via:

A/P John Gullotta AM, Deputy Chairman, Metro Events & Public Relations Coordinator


 On 31 October at the NSW Parliament House, Strangers Dining Room, 60 new Awardee recipients were joined by family and friends to celebrate their recognition of major achievements in community support. Our Parliamentary host was Judy Hannan MP, Member for Woollondilly and Member of the Legislative
Assembly, who highlighted the importance of recognizing worthy Australians via this Order of Australia award system. Our guest speaker was Sophie Scott OAM, a 2023 King’s Birthday new recipient. She is former national medical reporter for the ABC and she spoke about the science of positive psychology by using several case studies and using evidence-based science as well as her own personal journey. Via her talks, Sophie helps people take better care of their mental health through science-backed
techniques so they can build emotional resilience, maximise their potential and thrive at work and at home.

The toast on behalf of the new recipients was delivered by Gary Smith AM, who was appointed a member of the Order of Australia (AM) for “significant service to medical administration and to
professional organisations”. Gary is considered by his peers as an “Influencer” in healthcare reform, especially in the areas of practice management and the quality agenda both in Australia and


News from the National Board Meeting

On 20 Oct 2023 sadly saw the National Board accept the resignation of the National Treasurer, Muriel Barasso OAM, due to her ill health.
On behalf of New South Wales, I extend a thank you for the years of service that she has so generously given to the Association and send our wishes for good health.

Muriel of Rockdale New south Wales received her Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) on 26 January in 2018 for her services to real estate in particular the strata industry.
Muriel is a past President, first Fellow and a Life Member, trainer, and consultant of Strata Community Australia (SCA). Muriel was appointed as National Treasurer, in September 2018.


2024 National Conference – Hyatt Regency Perth. Giving Service Beyond Self. 16 – 19 May 2024.

It is expected that in the November 23 issue of ‘The Order’ all the details for registration and the program will be revealed. In the meanwhile, the Order of Australia website has details for accomodation and pre-conference tour options. At the moment Dianne and I are considering taking the driving challenge of the 3,935 kilometres from Sydney to Perth.


2025 Sydney Conference 1 – 5 May 2025.

Planning is underway and at the Perth Conference in May 2024 all will be revealed about the coming 2025 Sydney Spectacular event. No boasting but it is hard to beat the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Opera House, the beautiful Sydney Harbour and is there any need to go on.

Order of Australia Merchandise. Just in time for summer barbecues are premium soft cotton navy (Unisex) cap with the Order logo and a bib apron with adjustable halter self-fabric strap around neck. Along with unique styling included is a towel loop at the back of the apron, one large central front pocket with special side slides for a pen and a bottle opener.Not only will you be the best dressed barbecue in town but also promoting the Association.

Membership fees.The National Board at the meeting on 20 October 2023 approved the 2024 Budget which included the adoption of reduced membership fees. On the renewal of your next membership there will be a pleasant surprise and an encouragement to continue your membership.

Why do strategic plans always seem so complicated.

Well, they can be, but the aims of the Order of Australia National strategic plan can be simplified to Membership – to grow the value of membership of the Association.
Promotion – to encourage and promote nominations and support diversity in nominations for individuals contributions to the community.
Growth – to build membership for the future of the Association. Community – to invest in community partnerships and projects.
Each of us can contribute by supporting Association activities, put forward a member of the community that should be recognised for their community efforts, encourage new recipients to join the association, and encourage your Regional Group to support a local cause or the Association’s Foundation.

David North OAM, NSW Branch Nominated Director [email protected]


40 people attended the Order of Australia Association Dubbo Regional lunch held at the Dubbo RSL Club on Saturday 14th October. Many of these people had travelled distances of over 3 hours to attend so that they could celebrate with the new recipients of awards from the Kings Birthday Honours. They travelled from such places as Louth, Coonabarrabran and Trangie. It as such an important event in the City of Dubbo that photographers from the local newspapers were there to document the occasion.

On arrival we were greeted with some beautiful music played by the students from the local Macquarie Conservatorium. We were served canapes and were able to mingle for a while before sitting down. We were officially welcomed by the local OAA Convenor, Ruth Shanks AM. Ruth invited the conservatorium students to play a couple more beautiful musical pieces.

Kath Readford OAM gave a heartfelt thanks to the conservatorium students who had had us all enthralled. John MacKenzie OAM AFSM gave the toast to The King and then Brian Semmler OAM led the Grace. After a delicious lunch had been served, the guest speaker, Steve Hinks gave us a wonderful presentation. Steve is the Director of Taronga Western Plains Zoo. He was introduced by Jennifer Cowley OAM, who is on the Board of Directors of Taronga Western Plains Zoo. Steve told the story of his early life in Sydney, getting involved in tourism during the Sydney 2000 Olympics and ending up with his dream job at the Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo.

Marie Knight OAM, the secretary of the OAA Dubbo, gave the vote of thanks and presented Steve with a gift. David North NSW appointed Director on the National Board of the OAA congratulated the new recipients of Australian awards. He spoke about the OAA conference to be held in Perth in 2024 and then in Sydney in 2025. He encouraged people to nominate others for Australian awards

MC Ruth Shanks OAM made two special presentations. The first to Ruby Riach OAM who has worked tirelessly for the association for many years. Ruby was at one time the NSW Secretary of the OAA. She is now 95 years young and still going strong working for the association.
The other presentation was for Wally Flynn OAM, who is an ambassador for REX Airlines. He is also in his 90s and has decided to retire from the OAA Committee after having served for many years. Wally hasn’t stopped though. He works hard to have worthy people nominated for Australian honours. He has prepared information packs for organisations such as Probus, CWA and Rotary to assist them with their nominations. He has local politicians onside and they help him with the distribution of the information packs. It was a most memorable afternoon. People stayed on for a long time afterwards to chat and catch up.

Regional Convenor, Ruth Shanks AM, Graham Neville, Dianne Neville OAM, David North OAM, Diane North OAM. Below, Honours Recipients Dubbo, 14 November 2023

Di North OAM, OAA NSW Strategy Coordinator, [email protected]


On September 7, our Patron, Her Excellency The Honourable Margaret Beazley AC, KC, welcomed our 26 2023 Youth Community Service Awardees to Government House, to receive their Trophy and Certificate of Commendation. The young people have all made significant contributions to their communities and we applaud them all. For more information about the 2023 Awards, go to our website:

Her Excellency, The Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of NSW, as Patron of the Order of Australia Association NSW, presenting Sienna Arena-Milne of Northholm Grammer in Arcadia with a Youth Community Service Award, for exceptional service or engagement with their local community, or to Australia in general.


The Central West Regional Group of the Order of Australia Association enjoyed a High Tea at Abercrombie House in Bathurst on Sunday 15 October.

Abercrombie House was built in the 1870s by the Stewart family who were Bathurst pioneers. The house is considered to be of extreme historical significance. It is listed on the National Trust Register and is described as an outstanding example of Victorian Tudor style architecture. It is now owned by the Morgan family who hosted the group and served a delicious high tea.
The afternoon began with the Annual General meeting of Central West Regional Group of the Order of Australia Association followed by presentations by Elizabeth Zachulski OAM and Marie Billington OAM on their works which were recognised by the award of the OAM.

Chris Morgan then gave a most interesting talk on some of the history and legends of Abercrombie House including describing how he and his wife Xanthe pasted thousands of little sheets of gold leaf on the ceiling of the stunning feature that it now is. Following afternoon tea Christopher conducted a tour of the house.

The committee of the Central West Regional Group of the Order of Australia Association together with Jim Mein, NSW Branch Chairman, Order of Australia Association and Chris Morgan, owner of Abercrombie House.
Chair: Mary Brell, Treasurer: Kate Baxter, Secretary: Monica Morse, Committee: Elizabeth Zachulski, Marie Billington, Nikki Kiss.

Reaching Out to Honours Recipients in Aged Care or Nursing Homes

From time to time our Members come to us with ideas, for example, acknowledging Australian Honours recipients who are living in nursing homes across the State.
There are 1756 Nursing Homes in NSW, caring for 188,000 residents. Many no doubt have received an Honours Award, but we have not been able to capture this information.

We are in discussion with the sector to find out if Awardees are identifiable in their systems.

If it is feasible to identify these people, we are considering asking Nursing Home management if they would be prepared to acknowledge Honours Awardees, by putting their post nominals on their name plaque on their room door.

Our Association will also find out if it is possible for us to send a card to these residents. However, considering Privacy issues, this may be difficult.

To get the ball rolling regarding the feasibility of the idea, if any of our Members know of Awardees in care, I would be pleased to hear from you,
[email protected]

All ideas for how to reach Honours Awardees are welcome.


Dear NSW Members,

BUSYNESS is an oft said description of our lives and how do we mismanage it is said to be STRESS.

WELLBEING is also the oft described way we should manage both busyness and stress.

SO, WHAT SHOULD WE DO to keep motivated, positive, and resilient is the challenge? OR is it?

Our New South Wales Governor, Her Excellency, the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC, opined

that “volunteering is the heart of the Order of Australia Awards”. This indisputable statement also

applies to our annual awardees of the Branch’s Youth Community Service Awards who inspire even

us even decades after we were of similar age. These youth already exemplify the volunteering

mindset, motivation and model for Australia’s, indeed the World’s, future need for continuing

effective community leadership.

Too often, I hear from the working community that they do not have time to volunteer but they look

forward to doing that in retirement- when they will have time! That “wears thin” with me as we

should make time for more than our careers, family and wealth. It depends on balancing life’s time’s

pressures and priorities. We can all volunteer unless health lands mobility limits

Whenever I meet with our members, community leaders and achievers, Awardees at that their

Investiture Ceremonies, and even our Community Service Awardees, I love finding out more about

their citations, “how many hours they sleep” and even why they pursued their award recognized

activities. The replies are fascinatingly inspiring because busyness is never a problem. Stress is

manageable or never an insurmountable issue. BUT WELL-BEING is essential for them, their team at

home, those in whom they have invested support time, and the organization(s) they have benefited

by volunteering.

Let me finish with a Tibetan Proverb I recently read on the subject of “the secret to living well and

longer is eat half, walk double, laugh triple, and without measure.”

Jim Mein AM

Branch Chairman

[email protected]


Please keep this month’s activities dates in mind where you are able to attend: –

13 th – SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS REGIONAL New Awardees Welcome High Tea at Mittagong RSL Club.

14 th – DUBBO REGIONAL lunch at the Dubbo RSL Memorial Club

15 th – CENTRAL WEST REGIONAL Afternoon Tea at Abercrombie House, Bathurst

31 st -NEW AWARDEES WELCOME lunch in the Strangers Dining Room at NSW Parliament House


SHOALHAVEN REGION HIGH TEA 21 September 30, 2023

There were around 40 people at the high tea function arranged by Ron Gibb OAM and the Shoalhaven Regional committee. There were also two representatives from the local council. The high tea provided by the Country Women’s Association in Nowra was delicious. People loved the assortment of hot savoury, sandwiches and cakes served with tea and coffee.

The guest speaker was Libby Davies AM, who was CEO of White Ribbon, but is currently on the Board of Countries Universities Centre which is in Ulladulla. Her presentation was very well received.

David North spoke a few words about what is happening at State and National level of the Order of Australia Association. He also spoke about the NSW Branch committees’ arranging of the National Conference in Sydney for 2025.

Dianne North OAM,

Libby Davies AM,

David North OAM,

David Gibb OAM


This year’s award presentations were once again graciously hosted by Her Excellency The Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC at NSW Government House on September 7. Her Excellency personally presented each of the 26 recipients with a trophy and Certificate of Commendation, together with some wise words of encouragement for their future endeavours in service to the Australian community. Proceedings concluded with a vote of thanks by Asteer Saleem from Mary McKillop College, Wakeley, who thanked Her Excellency and the NSW Branch on behalf of the recipients.

Presentations were conducted in the Government House Ballroom, followed by a group photo on the grand staircase. The Youth Community Service Award has been conducted annually by the NSW Branch since 1993 to reward year 11 or 12 HSC or IB (International Baccalaureate) students who have shown exemplary commitment and initiative in service to their communities, which range from local to international. While Covid prevented its offering in 2020, student initiatives have rebounded strongly, despite Influenza joining Covid in 2022 as a significant constraint on their activities. This year’s recipients came from schools with geographic spread across Sydney and beyond to Dubbo, Kingscliff, Port Macquarie, East Gosford, Freshwater, Raymond Terrace, Camden, Narara, Penrith and Ulladulla. After the official photo, everyone adjourned for afternoon tea in the beautiful and extensive gardens where Her Excellency interacted informally with the gathering of recipients, their proud parents and guests.

Nominations for the 2024 award will be forwarded by email to all Principals (972 in 2023 offering the HSC or IB) NSW High Schools in April, with closing date in late May. Judging by a panel of 3 Order of Australia recipients will be concluded at the end of June and 25 nominees selected and advised. The date for the 2024 presentations will be advised by Government House when finalised. Further information is available on the Association website at

Dr Frank Kelleher OAM, ASM, Convenor, Youth Community Service Award

[email protected]


A group of people posing for a photo Description automatically generated A group of people posing for a photo Description automatically generated

Mrs. Valmai Ruth Stewart OAM – For service Mrs. Caroline Lewis OAM – For service

to communities of Camden and Dubbo to the Jewish community of Sydney

A group of people posing for a photo Description automatically generated A group of women standing next to a pool Description automatically generated

For more photos from the King’s Birthday Inaugurations, Government House 15 September

see our website:

Governor General’s website for further information about Australian Honours.


Tuesday 31 October, The Order of Australia Association NSW 2023 King’s Birthday New Recipients Welcome Lunch, Parliament House Sydney

December TBA, Christmas Fundraising lunch Sydney

Friday January 26, Australia Day Annual Harbour Cruise Invitations will be issued in December.

March 2024 TBA, AGM and lunch

Dear NSW Members,

In today’s competitive world of winners rather than losers, success not failures, first not last, and leaders not followers, I ponder what models the current youth see in today’s leaders, their elders and the diverse media examples.

On 7th September, Her Excellency the Honorable Margaret Beasley AC, KC, will present this year’s Youth community service awards to the best twenty-six winners of our Branch’s Youth Community Service awards. Each year I have been part of this ceremony at Government House which has been brilliantly orchestrated by Branch Committee Frank Kelleher OAM, I marvel at the prominence of community service in our high schools which was not done in my years at school. These leaders of today and many tomorrows, give me a strong confidence of hope for bright futures for the world and all our communities which will benefit so many, no matter what, as the world can only be as strong as its community support, teamwork and passion to make a difference.

Invariably, these community service winners seek mentors to walk with them during their careers and each of our members has backgrounds, wisdom from experience, and the passion to help. This can be our ongoing investment and encouragement in their future. In effect, our legacy which has no cost but promises great riches.

So, what is your role model to offer yourselves to help their development?

Let me respond in part with a question once posed to me by a commentor: “on the roundabout of life, guess who gives way?”

As one who has spent much of his waking hours working with others in paid and volunteer situations, my answer was a cautious: “it depends on the situation.”

Examples include: –

  • At a roundabout, the rule is the first one in, but too often the impatient charger threatens the timid. It is not the place for the cautiously timid.
  • When negotiating public transport do you defer and/or assist a lady, or an older person, or the disabled, or the pram pusher?
  • I wouldn’t try to beat an amber traffic light.
  • What do you do when you are late for an appointment? Depends.
  • Do you give valuable volunteering time to help the community?

As volunteers, we need to look for and understand the other. The community service winners give us great confidence that they do this so well as school aged children, and it will continue because service is already in the values DNA.

Remember too that the latest Australian Charities and Not-for profits Commission report states that Australian Charities annually generate $190 billion in revenue, much of it being government money, and employ 10.5% of the workforce. Acknowledged too is that Australia and governments cannot survive without volunteers as the revenue dollars and staff can ever achieve.

And values drive behavior, as these young people and our Orders of Australia winners show. So please offer to be a volunteer Mentor*. Our future is all our responsibility to give way to others for the benefit of others.

Jim Mein AM

Contact our Honorary Secretary, Martha Jabour OAM, [email protected] if you would like to be considered for this role.*


On Saturday 15 th July, sixty members and guests enjoyed a private tour of the 2023 Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prize exhibitions at the Art Gallery of NSW.

The expert commentary by our tour guide was integral in making the paintings come alive with the depth and charism of each work. It was like hearing the artist explaining their work personally to each of us. Following the one hour tour, members and guests were invited to stay on and enjoy our beautiful Art Gallery at leisure and continue their discussions on which paintings were the favourites of the day.

A/Prof John Gullotta AM, Deputy Chairman, Events and Public Relations

News from Hastings-Macleay Branch

Congratulations to the new Awardees King’s Birthday Honours List from our local area.

* Mr Colin Ball OAM – For services to Surf Lifesaving and the Community for over 60years. We offer our sympathy to Mr Ball’s Family as his Award was presented shortly before his passing.

* Ms Elizabeth Campbell OAM- For services to Local Government & the Community of Kempsey

* Mr Albert Falzon OAM – For services to Surfing & the Visual Arts

*Professor Gail Whiteford AM – For significant service to Tertiary Education & Community Health

* Ms Jaclyne Fisher OAM – For services to Public Administration & to the Community

We are looking forward to welcoming retired Police Officer/Retired Head of the RAPTOR Taskforce of NSW Police as our guest speaker at our lunch at the Port Macquarie Golf Club on Thursday 3 August at 12 noon. Convenor, Laurie Smith OAM, 0416221147

For all Hastings-Macleay news, visit our website,

OAA Illawarra Group, BBQ at Bunnings, 10 July, 2023

The Order of Australia Association Illawarra Group decided to do some fundraising for a scholarship for a local Illawarra student through the University of Wollongong. They asked to be considered for Bunnings BBQs to raise funds. Bunnings has a long list of organisations wanting to do weekend BBQs and the group would have had to wait until November for their first BBQ. Bunnings have just started BBQs during the week, so the group was offered a Monday BBQ starting immediately at Bunnings Kembla Grange. Mondays are almost as busy as weekends, so they quickly took advantage of the offer to get on the Bunnings roster straight away.

There is a lot involved in organising a Bunnings BBQ. The husband-wife team of David and Dianne North (both OAMs) were up at 5.30AM to get to the butcher at 6.30AM to pick up sausages, Coles for bread and ice, then to Bunnings by 7.30AM to set up ready to serve by 8AM. Dianne North OAM is the Events Co-ordinator for the Order of Australia Association Illawarra Group. Her husband, David North OAM, is the group’s treasurer.

The day went very well, raising $1,000 toward the University of Wollongong Scholarship. Throughout the day, they had a very happy band of helpers to cook, serve, take money, hand out drinks. There was extra assistance from St Vincent de Paul volunteers and the Rotary Club of Shellharbour City as several of their own members were away due to school holidays. Particular mention must be made of the help received from John Meehan OAM, recognised for his support for Surf Lifesaving, who gave up several hours to help. It was great to have his assistance.

Bunnings Kembla Grange have now asked the Group to do a regular BBQ once a month. This will be a great fundraiser for OAA Illawarra.

Di North OAM and David North OAM

Southern Highlands Group News July 2023

Our local committee has been working on some suggestions and activities which we trust will underpin some intentional ‘marketing’ of The Order of Australia in the Southern Highlands.

Happy Hour @The Imperial Hotel, Wednesday July 26. Contact [email protected]

Save the Date: Welcome to New Members, Friday 13 October at Mittagong RSL, 3.30 for 4.00 – 6.00 pm

Annual Braille Music Concert: This was an awe inspiring evvent and one which our local group has supported financially for many years. Congratulations to Roma Dix OAM for her organisation of the annual music camp and concert for the last thirty years. An amazing commitment.

Sharon Hoogland OAM, Chairperson SHG, [email protected]


See below link to OAA Merchandise available as at July 14, 2023. **

Since our previous list in May 2023 some items have sold out and the metal medallions are nearly sold out.  A one-off item perhaps suitable to recipients who join the Association: We have 60 OAA keyrings in a black velvet bag selling to Branches in lots of 10 for $7.00 each GST included. To order please email [email protected] noting quantity and delivery address; a Tax Invoice will be emailed to the Branch Treasurer for payment.

** Merchandise Shop Online:

Helene Bender AM, Order of Australia Association VIC Branch Chair

FOR YOUR CALENDAR: The Order of Australia Association Annual Conference will be held in Sydney from MAY 1 – 4, 2025.

Our September 2023 Newsletter will include the proposed slogan theme for the conference and the planned speaker panel sessional themes to underpin that theme.

Pre- and post-conference trips to selected regions are also being planned.


Dear NSW Members,  

I especially welcome our newly, recently awarded members who have joined the Association in 2023. We hope that your membership will be enriching as you meet, hear, and share life stories with other members. I cannot envisage any other organization with such inspiring, community building members as our Association has.

The Order of Australia is one of few “bottom up” nomination systems in the World as nominations come from the community and as I have often heard said: “The Order reflects what drives the community.” Another parallel comment is that “passion for community is a civic duty” and that is critical to community well-being, as is the importance of belonging in communities.

We were also indelibly reminded by many speakers at this year’s National Conference in Geelong of the importance of social connection for community wellbeing and belonging.

The comment that hit me most, both explicitly and subconsciously, from those speakers’ reflections was that, whilst citizenship gives you a sense of belonging and purpose, we are inadequately addressing the growth of loneliness around us. The corollary for me was Cathy Roth OAM’s “Value of Volunteers”, expressed as 600 million hours of volunteering in Australia each year  has a value of $290 billion and the big difficulty is the shortage of volunteers the community needs to support our growing population.

In the New South Wales Branch, we are encouraging our members to be “MAD” givers, the adjective being an acronym for “Make a Difference.” And that we should not stop giving to community after we are awarded an Order of Australia. That is my challenge to each of you who are able bodied as the community can only be as strong as the support we invest for Australia’s future.

Loneliness is the biggest threat to community wellbeing and individual belonging.

I have seen it through discrimination against the homeless, the disabled, the socially and financially disadvantaged, victims of domestic violence, and the aged. Similarly, I have seen it statistically evidenced through the dramatic growth of poverty, suicides, relational break-ups, mental health, and those sleeping “rough.” I am personally experiencing it as I co-lead a team of volunteers mentoring a recently arrived, war affected refugee family of three siblings who are initially linguistically, socially, culturally, medically, and financially isolated. We are walking with them as they learn English so they can get work, learn our community ways, values and expectations, even the foodstuffs we eat, understand the public medical, educational and dental systems, and the opportunities there are for them in the long run. 

They may be safely free, but loneliness can be terrifying. Please consider them and others in your community as wellbeing should be for all. Please welcome and befriend the “glass” people who are in our community rather than ignore or avoid them as though they are not to be seen.

Jim Mein AM, NSW Branch Chairman    

[email protected]

Messages from the Governor General of Australia, His Excellency the Honourable  David Hurley AC DSC (Rtd)

In his June 13 message, contained in his monthly communication:   Above and Beyond,

The Order of Australia for all Australians”

He said:

“I would like to congratulate all Australians recognized in the recent King’s Birthday Honours List

“They are inspiring people and, collectively, speak to who we are – and the nation we aspire to be.  To each of the recipients – be proud and enjoy this moment. Your country is proud of you.

“Their actions, achievements and contribution are inspiring.  They are people who go above and beyond to make life better for others.”

“They have been recognized because a peer has taken the time to nominate them.  No one, no matter how deserving can be recognised unless they are nominated.”

The Governor General is very keen to see a more diverse group of Australians recognized, and in an effort to spread this message, his team reached out to the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Council of Australia       who  held a Zoom meeting on June 20 so that members of FECCA  and many others, could listen to the Governor General’s message and ask question about the nomination process.  

Following is a link to the Nomination process on the Governor General’s website.

If you would like to nominate someone who is deserving of recognition, but you would like assistance in managing the process, please let any of our Committee Members know.  Their contact details are here:

Louise Davis AM       [email protected]

Harold Sharp  OAM   [email protected]


FOR  YOUR CALENDAR:  The Order of Australia Association Annual Conference will be held in Sydney from MAY 1 – 5,  2025.  We are seeking volunteers with Conference planning or organisation skills.  Please contact A/P John Gullotta AM, Email:  [email protected]


I begin this monthly Branch Newsletter with two themes of Order of Australia Awardees never went to “no “school and everyone has their own story but so often not as inspiring as those of the Awardees.

I was introduced to the “NO SCHOOL” comment at a recent Happy Hour event in an aged care environment. Each resident was telling their own story and they each had been to “YES” school where they so often put their hand up to help others in need and struggling. The hand also went up to help run community, professional and business activities when calls came to help voluntarily. They shared their challenges, learnings, fun, tearful occasions, and their universal declaration was that what they valued most were the most unlikely friendships they developed with people “socially on the other side of the proverbial desk and side of the community. “Thank God” was so often expressed for volunteers and their leadership and involvement. The community was all the stronger, thanks to volunteers. Not one had been to “No school “where they would be drummed to always so “NO” when asked to help.

In my school years, the school concentrated on academic learning and sports participation. Nowadays, that concentration has expanded dramatically to include performing and creative arts, public speaking, and community service. This I was explaining to a recent gathering of our Branch’s past Youth Community Service Awardees who are benefiting from the Young Australian Leaders programme auspiced by some of our Association members.

Their community volunteering gives me great hope for the future. When I look at my early days, it took twenty-six days at an Outward Bound course which I did the day after I finished my last high school exams to confront me with the challenge for me to be community minded. It opened up doors  in so many indelibly memorable ways which accumulated rapidly as I continued to say “yes-“ not “no” t appeals for. The greatest acceleration resulted from my so called ”mid-life crisis“ which I often describe as the stage of my working life when I changed sides of my desk to leave the public accounting side of my profession to work for a religious institution on the other side. No more than any other time before did I realise what the real community needs were. Till then I worked with wealthy business and professional leaders and now I was realising the vastness of cultural, religious, generational, gender, sexuality and socio-economic diversity and their struggles in the larger members of our communities, here and abroad.

I know that one of the world’s greatest challenges is loving your neighbour. This is expressed by almost all faiths and those without a faith.

The related challenge is making time for the ‘”other” who is different to me. Yet, we have more in common than otherwise and we need to make time to talk and share our stories for together we can do more for a better world, not just our local communities.

Everybody has a different story, and it is a powerful start to the building relational bridges.

Our stories matter. Share yours.


Jim Mein, AM,
NSW Branch Chairman


At our May Committee meeting, by ZOOM, it was agreed that we would seek feedback about our Newsletters, and our website from all NSW Members.

Please send any comments you have, to [email protected]

And Chris Dunne [email protected]




Being a first time conference attendee I thought the conference was a huge success. I thoroughly enjoyed attending and will definitely be going to Perth in 2024 for the next Order of Australia Association Conference. And will certainly look forward to being part of the team for the planning of the 2025 Conference in Sydney  1-5 May 2025.  I found this to be a wonderful opportunity to meet new people, to hear some amazing stories of people’s lives and realise just why they received their Australian Honours Award. And to meet more than 20 Members from across NSW.

We were honoured by the presence of His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC and Mrs Hurley at a Vice-Regal reception at the Geelong Library and Heritage Centre on Thursday night. The Governor General officially opened the conference on Friday morning and then attended the Gala Dinner on Saturday night.

There were some great guest speakers during the conference. On Friday we heard from Bernard Salt AM, one of Australia’s top social commentators. He spoke about demographics, consumer and social trends in a way to make it relevant to us all. We also heard from Arron Wood AM who was the 2001 Young Australian of the Year for his work on the environment. He continues this today.

Rob Ayling is the Director of Communications and Creativity in the office of the Official Secretary of the Governor General and answered many questions relating to Australian Honours Awards.

A number of panel discussions were held over the weekend with prominent citizens who are specialists in their fields, such as Professor Catherine Bennett and Nyadol Nyuon OAM

The Gala Dinner on Saturday night was at Mt Duneed Estate winery. The Governor General presented the Foundation Scholarship Awards. These went to four absolutely brilliant young scholars.

The Sunday Jazz Brunch was a huge success. We were served a delicious brunch while listening to the Kym Dillon Jazz Quartet. Elizabeth Drozd OAM spoke to us about diverse communities and how they volunteer. Cathy Roth OAM spoke on the value of volunteers in Australia. This was a great way to end the conference as the reason most people receive an Australian Honours Award is because of their volunteer work.

Di North OAM,
Strategic Planning Coordinator
OAA NSW Branch

Feedback from NSW attendees at the 2023 Conference is most welcome.  [email protected]

Some of our NSW Members who attended the Conference with NSW Chairman, Jim Mein AM


 On May 11th 2023, The Order of Australia Association NSW celebrated 80 Order of Australia New recipients and their family and friends by hosting a gala luncheon at NSW Parliament House attended by 150 guests.

Our NSW Chairman Mr Jim Mein AM welcomed members and guests and highlighted the importance of The Order of Australia Awards in recognising the significant work and service of our fellow Australians. He stressed the importance of nominating worthy Australians for recognition, including women, younger people and Australians from our many diverse indigenous and multicultural backgrounds.

Our Parliamentary host was The Hon Stephen Kamper MP, and guest speaker, Ms Claudia Karvan OAM.

For more details, see The Order Magazine, May Issue, out very soon.

New Recipients and OAA NSW Committee Members Welcome Reception Parliament House Sydney



Click here to Download – Battlefields Tour 2024

Dates TBA, approximately May/June 2024

Dear NSW Members, 

As we await the announcement of the next group of Order of Australia Awardees, we are conscious of the world’s needs for great leaders who make a positive difference to the communities they lead, internationally, nationally, locally, professionally, commercially, ethnically, militarily, and so on. 

One such person is the appointment of our Association’s new National President last month, The Honourable Vicki O’Halloran AO CVO. She was previously the Administrator of the Northern Territory until January this year. Vicki takes up her duties at our National Annual General Meeting in Geelong later this month. We look forward to her leadership through that important role.,-appointed-a-commander-of-the-royal-victorian-order

The Honourable Vicki O’Halloran AO CVO


This brings me to this month’s theme: there is no “I” in “team. This succinct reminder to all leaders as a team will never survive for long if the “I” person dominates autocratically in all key decision making and public profiling of an organisation.  


In my professional practice days as a Chartered Accountant, I commonly saw business failures being attributed to at least some of following characteristics: – 

  • An absence of proper governance principles, especially with entrepreneurs who did not listen, seek, employ or otherwise obtain expert advice (one mind but no team approach)..
  • A failure to think and/or act strategically, particularly with businesses pushing a single product or service line which became obsolete (one product with limited life but no successor product to continue profiting).
  • Lack of a good organisational structure, suitable for their business and its research, marketing, production, financial administration and service (too often amateurs who are not business experienced nor team working). 

Sadly, I saw and still see these shortcomings in some charities and not-for-profit organisations who begin with a well-intentioned purpose, usually because of a community impacted or personal experience where they want to make a difference for others. 

We will always need ideas for a better future with a team who can assess what resources are needed to ensure successful realisation of those ideas, but always looking for new ideas. 

We should never stop dreaming and then enlist others to make the good ones happen. The “I” person can never really match the potential outcomes of a good team.  

Turning to more organisational Branch matters, regional luncheons are planned for Illawarra, Taree Manning Hastings-Macleay, Dubbo, and another for The Hunter. Successful gatherings have been held in The Hunter, Central West and Shoalhaven. Please visit the NSW Branch website to keep up with Branch and Regional news.

Functions are being planned for the Northern Beaches, New Awardees Welcome luncheon at Parliament House, and more, further into 2023, although the challenge is to find better priced, central venues. 

The Branch Committee members have been included in the Government House Investiture Ceremonies in late April and will finish tomorrow , 2nd May. The Awardees continue to inspire us with their service for a better Australia and some even internationally. Please do not forget to nominate more Australians. 

Branch Committee members Martha Jabour OAM, Diane and David North (both OAMs) and I will be attending the 2023 National Conference in Geelong this month and registrations close on 3rd May 2023. They are enlightening experiences, mixing with many inspiring people from across Australia. 

Lastly, please let Martha Jabour, ([email protected])

our Branch Secretary, know if you are interested in mentoring young leaders through the Young Australian Leaders organisation,


Jim Mein AM
NSW Branch Chairman



The New South Wales Annual General Meeting for 2023, was held at the Castlereagh Hotel, with over 80 members and guests participating in the annual general meeting and the luncheon afterwards.

At the AGM we were honoured to have two very special Guest Speakers namely Halis Khadija rishamsulkamal and Edward Hayek.  These two outstanding young leaders are also 2022 recipients of the NSW Branch Youth Community Service Award.

We were also honoured to have an amazing Australian media talent, Ms Jean Kittson AM, who entertained us about her family, career and community passions poignantly with great humour throughout.

The fundraising activity conducted by the NSW Branch during the AGM was directed towards the Raise Foundation and managed to raise $1100 for that cause.  Jean is an Ambassador for Raise.

The election during the AGM managed to recruit two new members to the NSW committee being Mr David North OAM and Mrs Dianne North OAM.

NSW Branch OAA Committee 2023 Jim Mein AM; Martha Jabour OAM; Trish Wetton OAM; John Gullotta AM; Louise Davis AM; Chris Dunne OAM; Gail Dunne OAM; David North OAM; Dianne North OAM; Frank Kelleher OAM; Geoffrey Glassock AM

Edward Hayek, Halis Khadija Rishamsulkamal; (Youth Community Service Awardees), Martha Jabour OAM; Jim Mein AM; John Gullotta AM and Frank Kelleher OAM

Claudia Ketch OAM; Jean Kitttson AM and Rebecca Hooke OAM



Registrations close on Tuesday May 2.


Please click on this website link for the conference program and booking options


An interesting programme of events includes a Vice Regal ‘Welcome to Geelong’ reception, interesting and challenging presentations and the awarding of Foundation scholarships to worthy tertiary students at our Annual Dinner at Mt Duneed Estate.


The Annual General Meeting of the Association, and its accompanying members’ Forum, as well as reviewing results will give you the opportunity to ask questions and make your views known.



Wendy Borchers AM worked at the ABC from 1967 until her retirement in 2010. She says one of her proudest moments in her long television career was at Four Corners. She is co-author (with Tim Bowden) of the book “Aunty’s Jubilee: Celebrating 50 Years of ABC”, published in 2006, and is now ABC Alumni’s Rural & Regional Co-ordinator.

Wendy Borchers AM, Regional Convenor, OAA NSW Manning

 A film archivist and researcher from Tuncurry Wendy was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia Medal (AM) for her work preserving Indigenous heritage, through TV and radio.

Wendy Borchers mainly worked with the ABC in her 40-year career, including the early days of programs like ‘This Day Tonight’. 

But Ms Borchers said she takes greatest pride in her work researching and cataloguing ABC material for the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.


Click here to view newsletter.



It’s time for change has become an oft said statement in so many circles, whether it be due to changes in government, post Covid social isolation recovery, environmental challenges or adaptation to cost of living and other operational pressures. To me, it is reality for survival in an ever-changing world where you can no longer live in the past.

For the Association, and not just our branch and its regions, we must plan, for this is vitally essential for the long -term wellbeing for us all. That is currently being addressed as a significant and primary task for our national board, your NSW Branch Committee, and our regional committees and all their leaders.

The Board’s Strategy Committee of which I am a member until 28th April 2023, is finalising a three years plan based on the following four goals:-

  • Promotion of more Order of Australia Award nominations with greater age, gender and cultural diversity;
  • Grow the value of membership of our Association;
  • Build for the future of our Association; and
  • Invest in community partnerships and projects to lift the profiles of the Awards and the Association

For our Branch , we have another significant goal which is to organise the Association’s 2025 National Conference which will be held in New South Wales between 1st and 4th May. Branch Deputy Chairman John Gullotta AM and Branch Secretary Martha Jabour OAM are spearheading the creation of its Organising Committee, and  identifying the conference location and  crafting its theme. Martha, Trish Wetton OAM , newly appointed Committee members, both OAMs Diane and David North are joining me to attend this year’s National Conference in Geelong where no doubt we will be learning more for both 2024 when NSW promotes the 2025 Conference as well as finalising the detailed content for 2025.

Our Branch Annual General Meeting last month was well attended. The following luncheon inspired us all, thanks to the addresses from two of our 2022 Youth Community Service Awardees (who are now members of the Young Australian Leaders project), Ms Halis Rishamsulkamal and Mr Edward Hayek, as well as Jean Kittson AM who spoke of her family, career and community passions- poignantly shared with great humour throughout.  $1,100 was raised for “Raise Foundation”, one of Jean’s community passions and for which she is an Ambassador.

Please visit the NSW Branch’s section of the Association’s website   to read the 2023 Branch Reports, understand our Branch finances and learn more about our Youth Community Service Awards, as well as read the regional group reports with photos on their recent activities as well as the member profiles. I cannot think of an Association with as many inspiring members from such a great community spread.

The Regional Leaders zoom bimonthly with the latest being this past week. They are a great resource for the overall leadership of the Association as we try to bridge the country-city gap. The discussion shared ideas, gave constructive feedback and contributed much for our forward thinking and planning, including:

  • Event planning for 2023, details of which will appear on the NSW Website.
  • Approaches being made to local civic leaders, media and members to improve publicising events, The Order of Australia and the Association.
  • Planning inter-region gatherings.
  • Developing and re-energising individual region membership.
  • Restructuring the larger geographical regions’ local regional committee membership and the locations of member gatherings.
  • Encouraging local High School Principals to nominate students for our Youth Community Service awards.
  • Suggestions for contact with members who no longer can physically attend our gatherings, a matter of much concern expressed at the Branch AGM.

Lastly, we will be represented by members of the Branch Committee at the Australia Day Awardees investiture ceremonies at Government House between 18th April and 2nd May 2025. The date of the next Parliament House Welcome luncheon will be announced shortly and invitations will be emailed when once known. We very much look forward to both events and mixing with the latest Awardees and hopefully they will be new Association members.



NSW BRANCH CHAIRMAN                                                                                                                                                   

Claudia Ketch OAM; Jean Kitttson AM and Rebecca Hooke OAM


NSW Branch OAA Committee 2023 Jim Mein AM; Martha Jabour OAM; Trish Wetton OAM; John Gullotta AM; Louise Davis AM; Chris Dunne OAM; Gail Dunne OAM; David North OAM; Dianne North OAM; Frank Kelleher OAM; Geoffrey Glassock OAM



The Order of Australia Hunter Regional Group conducted a successful Morning Tea at Cardiff RSL Club on Saturday 18 March 2023 with 118 in attendance. 

Photo left – Professor Clare Collins AO; Mr Garry Leo OAM; Mrs Dawn Lovett OAM; Mr John Lovett OAM; Mr Henry Meskauskas OAM; Mr Andrew Traill OAM; and Mr John Cutler OAM.

Photo – Peter Corcoran AM and June Cameron AM.

A report and greetings were extended to those present from Chris Dunne OAM who was representing the New South Wales Branch in his role as Regional and Web Coordinator.  Chris was accompanied by Gail Dunne OAM, New South Wales Treasurer.

The well received guest speaker was Rosemarie Milsom BA DipEd who spoke on her career titled “Art and Life”.

June Cameron AM was presented with a plaque recognising her ten years of outstanding service as Order of Australia Hunter Regional Group Convenor – 2012 to 2022.

Peter Corcoran AM has succeeded June Cameron AM as Order of Australia Hunter Regional Group Convenor.  He congratulated and welcomed those awardees attending a function for the first time.

Gerry Collins, ex ABC Sports commentator, was our excellent Master of Ceremonies.

The next Hunter area function will be a morning tea at Salamander Bay on Wednesday 28 June 2023.

There will be a morning tea at Cardiff RSL Club on Saturday 26 August 2023 to acknowledge local King’s Birthday Order of Australia awardees.

Check out our website for updates on Regional Events and News:

Mr Gary Leo OAM and Family on such a proud and emotional day, when all the family can gather as one to acknowledge the award bestowed on a member of their family.

Mr Gary Leo OAM and Family on such a proud and emotional day, when all the family can gather as one to acknowledge the award bestowed on a member of their family.  The Morning Tea enabled the family to attend together in support at this time when numbers are restricted at Government House.

 Check our website at:


For information about some of our members, and for Bios of our Committee Members.

REMEMBER, Please let me know the email address of anyone who would like to have their story put on our website under MEET OUR MEMBERS.  We all enjoy reading about some of the amazing work being done by our 2400 Members across the State.  [email protected]

Our AGM guest speaker Jean Kittson AM wrote a very useful and entertaining book about helping aging loved ones deal with the very complicated Government departments responsible for our aging population. It’s worth reading if you are dealing with this personally or for others.

We Need to Talk About Mum & Dad: A Practical Guide to Parenting Our Ageing Parents


I originally chose “OPTIMISM” as my theme for this, our last Newsletter of Year 2022, with a subtitle of “lost time is never found again.” The pandemic almost killed the branch and regional face to face get togethers because of social distancing restrictions and health fears, hence my reference to “lost time”.

As oft said, Covid has taught us all to relate and work differently in times when it was harder to keep contact with each other in other ways than in person, learning the importance of keeping contact by telephone and electronically. However, this three years period will also indelibly remind us of the importance of thinking of others, especially those who have suffered through health challenges and natural disasters which left few untouched in our communities.

Isolation is menace and so is the incredible devastation caused by bushfires and then the flooding, the latter too often been repeated before there was time to recover from the previous flood.

We have learnt from many of our regional leaders and other Association members of the impacts, then the difficulties in re-establishing homes, livelihoods and local communities which for too many will take years. The images of gutted homes, water-covered lost bumper crops (not long after the losses caused by droughts and mice plagues), and resultant food and services scarcity how does one recover? How long will it take to rebuild? How can their forthcoming Christmas holidays be enjoyed amongst all the physical, emotional and financial devastation?

How can we help? How can restore optimism for a quick recovery?

The national board of the Association has offered deferred payment on annual subscriptions, and the profit and donations from the Branch’s Christmas luncheon with be given to “Givit”. Many members are already serving charities which in different ways are supporting the flood recoveries but I encourage all members to seek ways that some of their own Christmas financing will help the impacted have a better Christmas and have good reason to be optimistic about the future.

We may have lost more than time but we should strive for an optimistic future for everyone’s sake.

I take this opportunity to wish each of you a happy and meaningful Christmas and a better year to come. Jim Mein AM Branch Chairman


The Branch Committee has the responsibility to organise the 2025 National Conference and invites expressions of interest from members who have events management and conference organisational experience.

The appointed team will need to be available throughout the period from early 2023 until June 2025 as the Conference theme, venues, accommodation, activities, speakers, sponsorships and possible government funding need all to be secured during 2023 and marketing and promotion in 2024/2025. Please submit your written expression of interest to Ms Martha Jabour, NSW Branch Secretary, PO Box 561, PARRAMATTA, NSW 2124 by 31st January 2023.


Attached invitation for our 2022 CHRISTMAS FUNDRAISING LUNCHEON Sunday 11 December.

Money raised will be donated to GIVIT, an organization which is providing support at a local level across NSW.

We have set up a fund raising GIVIT page for the OAA NSW that people can donate to. Please have look at it and donate if you can.

The link is


A/Prof John Gullotta AM
Deputy Chairman

Metropolitan Coordinator

Events Manager and Public Relations
The Order of Australia Association NSW
Mobile: 0418 233 069



On November 14 we held our first “New Awardee Welcome Lunch” in three years, at Parliament House Sydney, after a Covid induced delay.

We welcomed 80 new Australian Honours recipients, together with friends and family.  Lunch was kindly hosted by Mr Guy Zangari MP, Member for Fairfield, and our guest speaker was Professor Michael Kidd AM, Deputy Chief Medical Officer of NSW.  Professor Kidd has been a general practitioner for 35 years, working in urban and rural areas across Australia, and is a past president of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.  He is a world-leading authority on primary health care, having worked in senior leadership positions in Australia and around the world, including the World Health Organisation and the World Organisation of Family Doctors.  Professor Kidd spoke about the Covid-19 Pandemic, Lessons learnt and where to from here?

Our Patron The Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC was unable to be with us on the day, but sent her best wishes and congratulations to all of the Awardees.

Committee Member of the OAA NSW, Mrs Trish Wetton OAM proposed a toast to the new recipients, and Prof Stephanie Watson OAM responded.  Professor Watson is an ophthalmic surgeon, an international leader in research and innovation with over 200 publications and is Professor at Save Sight Institute, University of Sydney.  She has also developed the Safe Sight registry for corneal diseases. Stephanie was awarded her OAM in the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

A/P John Gullotta AM, Deputy Chairman, OAA NSW

The Order of Australia New Recipient Welcome Lunch Parliament House Sydney, 14 November 2022

Thanks to Michael Manningham 0AM who is our official photographer.

OAA NSW Member Leanne M Zalapa AM, Professor Michael Kidd AM, Rebecca Hooke OAM

MEMBER BENEFITS PROGRAM, for the Order of Australia Association, NSW Branch Members

For information, please email our Hon Secretary Martha Jabour OAM on [email protected]


MEET OUR MEMBERS –  Please visit

Shortly we will be profiling our hard working Regional Convenors



On Sunday afternoon 27th November a small group of Order of Australia recipients enjoyed Afternoon Tea on the Terrace of the Glenbrook Panthers Bowling Club.

While it was a small gathering it was wonderful to be once again enjoying the company of like-minded people. It was the first time since 2019 that this regional group has held a social function.

Group Chairman John Wakefield OAM welcomed Chair of NSW Branch Jim Mein AM and his wife Gill, Regional Group Coordinator for NSW Chris Dunne OAM and his wife NSW Branch Treasurer Gail Dunne OAM and Dr Frank Kelleher OAM Youth Community Service Award Coordinator for NSW as visitors to the function.

It was pleasing to see local recipients from all corners of the regional group. John advised the gathering that he would like to hold 3 such social events during the next year, hopefully one in each part of this large regional group.

Recent recipients were welcomed and congratulated by the gathering: Fay Wheatley OAM, Robyn Emery OAM, Donald Mason OAM and Terry Galloway OAM.

A successful raffle was held with 8 prizes organised by heather Gwilliam OAM. The funds raised will be forwarded to NSW Branch to support Youth projects.

L to R, Terry Galloway OAM, Donald Mason OAM, Fay Wheatley OAM, Chairman John Wakefield OAM and Robyn Emery OAM.


NE & NW Regional Christmas Luncheon will be held on Saturday 10 December in Tamworth.

For details, please contact Regional Convenor Jane Bradford OAM 0429666100


SYDNEY EVENTS:            

  • Dec 2022: Christmas luncheon Sunday 11 December: INVITATION ATTACHED TO THIS NEWSLETTER
  • Northern Beaches Regional Cocktail Party, Sunday 11 December, Balgowlah RSL Club,

(Contact Gail Dunne 0419279337 for details)

  • 2023: Australia Day Luncheon Cruise 26 January.

Invitation attached to today’s email. Please book early as numbers are limited due to the capacity of the vessel.

  • 2023: 40th Anniversary luncheon or dinner.  Details will be in a future Newsletter.
  • AGM Tuesday 21 March – details to follow



** Please refer to the OAA WEBSITE:

Governor’s Message 2022



Dear NSW Members,

We have just completed an extraordinary month in the history of the world, Australia, our Association and with our Community Youth Service Awards programme. 

As I reflect on the well-deserved tributes to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the rock she was during her amazing reign, to the Uniting Kingdom, the Commonwealth, and indeed the world, she has left us with ever-lasting memories which are invaluable legacies to all who mourn and read about her in future generations. 

For me, legacy is a key word in itself for us to digest. 

What legacy will you, me and the leadership of community organizations, no matter how small and/or large, leave to those who will survive us and come after we die?   Whilst none of us has nor continues to serve the community for our own glory, there is nothing wrong with trying to leave a positive legacy to those who follow us by helping to continue to look after the welfare and overall journey of our communities.  In other words, we should aspire to be community builders for a better future. That should be our legacy. 

Her Majesty encouragingly served us through wars, peace, turmoil, tragedies, political unrest and good times. A Queen for all times. 

We wish His Majesty, King Charles 111, a fruitfully empowering and encouraging continuity of his mother’s legacies as well as bringing his own touches to his leadership. 

Whilst the change of Monarch was the most significant change in September, closer to home, we are amazed at the achievements of this year’s twenty-six NSW Youth Community Service Awardees which give us immense confidence of today’s young leaders and the future of our communities. For details visit

We welcome new regional convenors in the Taree-Manning, Central West, Coffs Harbour, The Hunter and Southern Highlands regions to build on their predecessor’s legacies. Three have already had, or set dates for their region’s reunions. 

We sadly farewelled Mary Doughty AM whose Vale appears on the Branch’s website. She will be fondly remembered for her many years of Branch leadership and her invaluable archiving contribution, post retiring. https://theorderofaustralia.asn.nsw/news/

Sydney’s Opera Luncheon was brilliant entertainment and raised funds for Young Australian Leaders and for our Association’s Foundation. More functions are planned, especially for welcoming new Awardees which we have not been able to do for over two years because of Covid social distancing.

Associated with this announcement is that our Branch will be allowed two representatives at larger investiture ceremonies in early October 2022 

The world needs great leaders and their legacies. 

What legacy can you endow for a brighter community present and the future? 

Jim Mein AM, Branch Chairman


Inaugural Opera Luncheon – Saturday 17th September 2022.

Our first “The Opera singers” lunch was held on 17 September. The performances by Gaetano Bonfante – Tenor, and Clarissa Spata – Soprano were excellent and the Cellos Grand dining room was most complementary. Our Association Members and their guests enjoyed the music and opportunity to meet face to face whilst having a most enjoyable lunch.

Numbers were 66 and with a successful raffle thanks to our Honorary Secretary Martha Jabour OAM and others donating prizes we made an overall profit of about $1000 donated to the Young Australian Leaders Group. And the OAA Foundation.

A/Prof  John Gullott AM, Deputy Chairman, and Jim Mein AM, Chairman NSW Branch

The Order of Australia Association NSW Branch,

Youth Community Service Awards 2022

On Friday September 2, the OAA NSW Youth Community Service Awards were presented at Government House NSW to 26 high school students in NSW by The Honourable AS Bell, Chief Justice of the NSW Supreme Court, Administrator of the Government of the State of NSW, for exceptional service or engagement with their local community or to Australia in general.

The students received a trophy and certificate of commendation from the Chief Justice.

Conducted by the Order of Australia Association (NSW) Branch, students across the state were nominated by their school principal as being exemplary community role models before a selection panel determined the final Award recipients.

Service ranges from local initiatives such as education, health and welfare for disadvantaged or underprivileged communities, to international initiatives in a host of community development activities such as education, health, sanitation and infrastructure projects.  The Award is not for academic or sporting achievements.

Citations for the 26 students are on our website:

The Order of Australia Association NSW Branch Chairman, Jim Mein AM, congratulated the students saying they were an exemplary community role model.

“These students are recognized today for their selfless volunteering to a wide range of organisations and for many years worthy causes while busily preparing for their Higher School Certificates,” said Mr Mein.

“They have contributed beyond the norm and have inspired their fellow students.  They are a beacon of inspiration for others to follow,” he added.

“None of the students sought recognition for their actions, but we honour them with the highest recognition available to NSW high school students,” he said.

The Award was initiated by the late Dr John Lincoln AM, in 1992 and was Convened by him until his death in 2011, aged 95.

Dr Frank Kelleher OAM


OAA NSW Youth Community Service Awardees 2022, with Dr Frank Kelleher OAM, Louise Davis AM,  The Honourable AS Bell, Chief Justice of the Surpreme Court,  Martha Jabour OAM, A/Prof John Gullotta AM, Deputy Chairman, and Jim Mein AM, Chairman, NSW Branch.




Romilly Madew is CEO of Engineers Aust

Previously Romilly was CEO Infrastructure Romilly Madew AO FTSE HonFIEAust    MEET OUR MEMBERS

Australia (IA), where she was responsible for overseeing IA’s critical role in helping governments prioritise projects and reforms that best serve our communities.

Before joining Infrastructure Australia, Romilly was CEO of Green Building Council of Australia for 13 years. In acknowledgment of her contribution to Australia’s sustainable building movement, Romilly was awarded an Order of Australia in 2019.

In her capacity as CEO of Engineers Australia, Romilly sits on the STEM Champions of Change committee.  She is also currently a Member of the Australian Academy of Technology & Engineering (ATSE) Infrastructure Forum; Director Placemaking NSW Board; Director Sydney Olympic Park Authority; Independent Chair Currawong State Park Advisory Board (NSW); Federal Government appointee, G20 EMPOWER – Empowerment and Progression of Women’s Economic Representation and Director of Minerva Network (supporting Australia’s elite sportswomen).


Romilly is an active surf life saver.  She was previously President of Bilgola SLSC, is a Patrol Captain for Bilgola and is the Support Services Coordinator, a Duty Officer and Committee Member Diversity and Inclusion working group for Surf Lifesaving Sydney Northern Beaches Branch.

IN MEMORIUM – Brian Sherman AM

Tributes flowed for entrepreneur, philanthropist and animal rights activist Brian Sherman AM, who died in September after a 10-year struggle with Parkinson’s disease.  He was 79.

Mr Sherman and his wife Gene arrived in Australia from South Africa in 1976 with little to their name.  With cousin-in-law Laurence Freedman, he founded the investment house Equitilink in 1981.

The Shermans have been avid collectors of art since the early 1970s.  They established the Sherman Galleries, through which they championed notable contemporary artists including Shaun Gladwell and Imants Tillers and staged Ai Weiwei’s first solo Australian exhibition and amongst the first of his significant exhibitions worldwide.

He was on the board of the Sydney Organising Committee for the 2000 Olympic Games and chairman of its finance committee.  He was president of the Australian Museum Trust from 2001 to 2009, and was awarded the Order of Australia for his services to the community and his philanthropy in the arts, medical science, animal rights and the Jewish community.

Brian is survived by his wife Gene and two children, Emile and Ondine and their partners Caroline and Dror and six grandchildren.

Brian will be sadly missed by his family, his many friends and those who knew him throughout his many decades of giving.



** Please refer to the OAA WEBSITE:

FORTHCOMING EVENTS:  Note the dates:


Southern Highlands Regional Luncheon on 14 October at the Mittagong RSL Club

Dubbo Regional luncheon on 15th October

 Illawarra Regional luncheon and AGM on 4th November


TBA:                           Welcome Lunch at Parliament House for new Awardees 

              40th Anniversary luncheon or dinner and

              Christmas luncheon or dinner

Vale Mary Doughty AM, September 1, 2022

We wished Mary a very happy 90th birthday in 2020 and today we are deeply saddened by the news of her death on 1 September 2022.

Mary devoted her life to helping others.  She worked within the NSW Health system from 1949 to 2005 and had a lifetime of voluntary work for the Epilepsy Association of NSW, the Monte Sant Angelo Mercy College as a committee member from 1957 to 1995.


Mary was also an accomplished writer with articles published in the MBA of NSW, The Order of Australia Association NSW Branch history, the doctor’s health care report for the Doctor’s Health Advisory Service, 1994, AASW NSW Hospital Social Work (1996) and a history of Monte Sant Angelo ex-students (1875-1988) and articles in the medical journal of Australia, including seminars and workshops.

Mary was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia in 1997, she was an Associate Branch Committee member in 1998, the Deputy Chair in 1999, Chairman 2000-2003, Immediate Past Chair 2003-2005 and Regional Coordinator 2005-2007. Mary Doughty was most recently Archivist for the NSW Branch.

Mary will be sadly missed by her family, her many friends, and those who knew her throughout her many decades of giving to others.

“A great soul serves everyone all the time.  A great soul never dies.  It brings us together again and again. Maya Angelou.”


Dear NSW Members,

I welcome the many new Awardees who have joined the Association. May your journey with us be both enlightening and enjoyable. As we continue to emerge from pandemic social distancing, regain confidence to socially mix and benefit from interactions between members, may we always be mindful of changing world relations, circumstances, opportunities and needs, not just wants. This message has hard driven me in my various community and family involvements, both inside and external to our Association. Regularly, I am challenged by both the rate of change as well as its impact on traditions, values, and intergenerational viewpoints. Let me share some of these gems: –

  • An institutional leader opined that their long-time established traditions have served them well in a different time, but many are becoming less relevant and his organisation less intergenerational. He said we must change and collaboratively work together in a different era to maintain relevance and attractive to new members.
  • We need to be more strategic and futuristic to keep up with change and more prophetic in working together as we can no longer be safe doing the things alone and in the old way.
  • Our Branch’s regional leaders meet bi-monthly by electronic media with the Branch Committee. We recognise that face-to-face gatherings are invaluable for social gatherings but for an organisation like ours, we interact more reliably this way for decision making, problem solving and ideas sharing. Attendance is more achievable as some of regions involve desirably avoidable lengthy and costly travelling, thereby increasing our availability to work together. For those with work and/or other commitments, they benefit themselves and us with contributions to better outcomes.
  • Traditions can be foundational values on which an organisation is built and influence its practices and procedures. However, survival requires adept adaptations to changing ways influenced by computerisation, electronics, new inventions, legislation and regulation, marketing, consumerism, research, and tastes and attitudes. Adeptly keeping ahead with change is essential to survival and values may have to be redefined.
  • Even vocabulary is constantly changing which is particularly seen in the growth of dictionaries. Some are avoidable jargon. Others add dimension to everyday language. I have to constantly update to enhance effective communication, particularly in intergenerational conversation and to be better understood when public speaking.

Back to our Regional leaders meetings, we have been reflecting on membership growth, the benefits of being members of our Association, rebuilding our communications as a result of pandemic caused isolation, and revitalising our activity gatherings. As a result, and for your feedback, please:-

  • I have appended an updated statement on the benefits of being a member of our Association.
  • Encouraging intra-regional communications which can include Awardee profiles as we do in “The Order”, on the Branch website and with this Newsletter. Life stories are inspirational.
  • Asking members to nominate community leaders for an Order of Australia and providing guidelines. These were issued with the August Newsletter, thanks to Roger Butler OAM from Moree.
  • Enhancing the Member Benefits products range.

Finally, Gail and Chris Dunne and I have between us attended regional functions this year in Coffs Harbour, the Far South Coast, Illawarra, Inverell, Nowra, Orange, Port Macquarie and The Hunter (2), and soon will be going to Alstonville, Dubbo, Bowral, and again in Illawarra. Morning teas with occasional speakers have been held regularly in Gosford and an inaugural Northern Beaches luncheon was held in Manly. Plans are afoot but dates yet to be set for the Lower Blue Mountains and the Riverina.

Please also note the Opera Luncheon in Sydney CBD on 17th September. DETAILS IN THE EMAIL COVERING THIS NEWSLETTER.

Cellos Grand Dining Room, Castlereagh Boutique Hotel, Sydney, 12.30

Performances by:  Gaetano Bonfante – Tenor and Clarissa Spata – Soprano

The issue of the Parliament House welcome luncheons for new Awardees, which have not been held for two years because of the Covid impacted limitations on investiture ceremony sizes, the Branch representation at the ceremonies will shortly be resuming. However, we are yet to decide when the luncheons will be feasible. This will hopefully be determined by the end of next month.

Best wishes,

Jim Mein AM Branch Chairman

PS:  VALE Peter Lloyd AC, OBE, MID who sadly passed away on 16 August at the age of 101 after a most extraordinary life of giving and living life to its fullest.


MEMBER BENEFITS PROGRAM, for the Order of Australia Association, NSW Branch Members

For information, please email our Hon Secretary Martha Jabour OAM on [email protected] 

The Order of Australia Association NSW Branch, Youth Community Service Awards 2022

On September 2, the 2022 Awards will be presented by the Lieutenant Governor of NSW, The Honourable Andrew Bell, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of NSW.

Students from year 11/12 throughout NSW have been nominated by their school principal as being exemplary community role models before a selection panel determined the final 26 Award recipients.

Service ranges from local initiatives such as education, health and welfare for disadvantaged or underprivileged communities, to international initiatives in a host of community development activities such as education, health, sanitation and infrastructure projects.

Awardees will be featured in future newsletters and The Order magazine, and on our website

Dr Frank Kelleher, OAM



Including:  Hastings/Macleay Branch Lunch 27 July

Inaugural Meeting of Coffs Harbour Committee 26 August, 2022

Laurie Smith OAM travelled from Port Macquarie to facilitate a meeting between Coffs Harbour members to set up a Committee. The newly formed Committee will meet again on September 16.  See our website for more information.


Dubbo Regional luncheon on 15th October

Illawarra Regional luncheon and AGM on 4th November


  • Welcome Lunch at Parliament House for new Awardees
  • 40thAnniversary luncheon or dinner and
  • Christmas luncheon or dinner


MEET OUR MEMBERS –  Please visit

Latest Member to be profiled: Patricia Carroll OAM


** Please refer to the OAA WEBSITE:

Merchandise Survey August 2022

Completed surveys should be returned by Tuesday October 4, 2022 at the latest

Merchandise generally has three main purposes

  1. For personal use, to identify with the OAA;
  2. As a gift for guest speakers, new awardees or other ‘official’ recipients;
  3. As a gift for family or friends.

Click here to download the Survey Form

Return Merchandise Survey to: [email protected]

Members and guests are cordially invited to attend


with our special guest Operatic Artists

Gaetano Bonfante & Clarissa Spata

Gaetano Bonfante is a Sydney born tenor who has been on the classical concert stage for many years.

He has performed in 15 productions for Opera Australia, toured La Traviata (as Alfredo) to 18 Cities in China, represented Australia in the international iSing opera program in China, performed as a special guest with the Arma Dei Carabinieri Band in Piazza San Marco Venice, and written and performed various cabaret shows on many prestigious cruise ships around the world. As a teller of stories and a singer of song, Gaetano takes his audience to the depth of their hearts, through his rich tenor voice and a strong passion for the music he loves.

Clarissa Spata is a multi-award winning and versatile Soprano. A principal with Opera Australia, she has performed the roles of Frasquita in the National tour of Carmen, Papagena in the National tour of The Magic Flute, Musetta (cover) in La Bohème on Sydney Harbour and has performed principal roles in six Opera Australia’s school tours. Internationally she has toured China with Australian International Productions as First Lady in Die Zauberflöte, The High Priestess in Aïda and lead in the “Highlights of

Musical Theatre” tour as principal soprano. Clarissa toured as lead soprano in ‘An Afternoon at The Proms Spectacular’ and toured nationally and internationally with The 7 Sopranos.

Saturday 17th September 2022 at 12.30pm

In the Cellos Grand Dining Room at the Castlereagh Boutique Hotel, 169 Castlereagh St, Sydney.

A drink on arrival will be followed by a seated 2 course luncheon. The bar will be open to purchase other drinks.

Cost for Members and Guests – $110.00 pp. (Inc. GST)


Dress: Lounge Suit / Cocktail Dress with Decorations (Full size medals)

RSVP ESSENTIAL: No later than 10th September 2022


Please reserve your ticket(s) only via this link:



There is no parking at The Castlereagh Boutique Hotel. Nearby parking stations include

Sydney Hilton Hotel – Secure Parking at 259 Pitt Street, Sydney and Piccadilly Car Park – Secure Parking at 137 Castlereagh Street, Sydney.

For further enquires please phone Dr John Gullotta AM, Events Manager on 0418 233 069


Dear NSW Members,

For much of my adult life, I have been challenged by “life balancing”.

It began when a senior partner in the accountancy firm I trained with asked me what were my night-time activities, as the firm was worried that my work responsibilities and capacity were way ahead of my studies progress to qualification. I was athletics training and leading a Cub Pack, then Scout troop. Decades later, the Chair of a Board passed a resolution that he was authorised to make me play golf on a workday as they were concerned that I was doing far more than they required of me as the CEO. We are still playing monthly two decades later! Long after I had ceased that role. I was on fifty-three committees, boards, councils and task groups in and for the Uniting Church, often involving weekends and many evenings.

Then throughout my working life I disciplined myself to do an annual checklist of what I was currently doing in extra activities in and beyond my work roles to ensure that I would not risk burn out, nor cause nor be seen to be in conflict them and my with family and close friend relationships or other organisations with whom I was involved.  The harder part was to let go of those where I was able to make a difference but recognise that I could over serve an organisation and it was better to change rather than overstay my welcome.

At many times, I have also had to ask members of staff, boards and elsewhere, whether they were falling into the same easy trap of over-serving in voluntary roles or employed ones. Perhaps going beyond their experience and training, or risking family breakdowns or their own. It is all hard work to face reality when we are enjoying serving.

The commonly asked questions were: how do you spend your spare time and are you over-committing?

I recall these valuably helpful words posed by Edith Eger in her book entitled: “The Choice” (published by Penguin):

                “Change is about noticing what’s no longer working out of the familiarised imprisoning patterns.”

She powerfully reminded me that change should not scare you, it can be re-invigorating with new challenges, and you will open up doors for others to contribute to Society. Otherwise, you can go stale, limit others’ contributions, and even “kill” an organisation. Modern governance standards now require time limits to the consecutive years serving on boards, councils and committees so that experience and new energies can work together to benefit an organisation.

Life balancing is a critical well-being practice for each and everyone. It also implores us to know when to say yes or no when approached to voluntarily serve the community to our fullest, without losing those who are so important to your own life journey.

Over-commitment costs.

I need also to publicly apologise to John O’Dwyer OAM for misstating in my July 2022 Branch Newsletter that he had retired as Illawarra Regional Convenor. He has not.

Likewise, I owe an apology to Margaret Smith AO who has stepped down as the Southern Highland’s Regional Convenor for referring her to her as “Mary.”

I trust that John and Margaret accept my regrets.

August 2022 beckons us all to welcome all our new members, particularly those who were recognised with an Order of Australia in the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Jim Mein AM
NSW Branch Chairman
[email protected]


Building on our Chairman’s remarks about multiplying our efforts and impacts for Australia to be a more “multi” cross cultural  Nation, we are seeking input from our Members for a series illustrating how this is already being achieved in NSW.  We would like to share your thoughts and ideas in our newsletters over the coming months.

  • Please send any examples of the work being done in your community to multiply the impact in NSW and more broadly to:
  • Email: [email protected]



** Please refer to the OAA WEBSITE:

MEMBER BENEFITS PROGRAM, for the Order of Australia Association, NSW Branch Members

Fiskars Group

We have had the opportunity and privilege to negotiate on behalf of our members some benefits which will be useful, especially for purchasing gifts for family and friends.  Fiskars Group includes such famous brands as Royal Albert, Royal Doulton, Waterford and Wedgwood.  Price lists and order form are available on the following link:

To take advantage of this offer please see the attachment in the above link entitled “OAA NSW Branch Invitation”.  As the offer states, you will be entitled to at least 50% off retail price of any item/s you choose and Fiskars have very generously offered postage and handling of a flat rate of $9.95 across NSW.  The pricelist is in the above link.

To place an order you will need both the OAA NSW account number (77007) together with your member number.  If you do not know your OAA Member number please contact Dr Geoffrey Glassock AM by email –  [email protected] or Martha Jabour OAM by email – [email protected]   They can send you your number.

For all orders please email [email protected]  or call 1300852022

If you have any questions please email our Hon. Secretary Martha Jabour OAM on [email protected] 


Dr Dan White has recently retired as the Executive Director of Sydney Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Sydney after ten years of leadership and service. Prior to his appointment Dan was the Director of Catholic Education for the Archdiocese of Hobart for six years.

Following his undergraduate studies in Education, Dan attained two Masters degrees in Leadership and Religious Education and completed his Doctorate in the field of Brain Based Learning and Pedagogical practice in 2005. Most recently he participated in the Oxford University Advanced Management and Leadership program.

Dan is the author or co-author of eight educational resource books focusing particularly on the Sacred Scriptures and higher order learning and thinking strategies. His most recent publications include ‘Into the Desert’ and ‘’Ancient Words’. His current research project involves an exploration of the cultural context of 1 st Century Palestine and its implications for understanding the Scriptures.

Over the past 20 years Dan has served on a number of educational authorities including, amongst others, the NSW Board of Studies (now NESA), the Tasmanian Qualifications Authority, the National Catholic Education Commission and the Senate of the Australian Catholic University.

Dan is a Fellow of both the Australian College of Educators and the Australian Council for Educational Leaders. He was awarded ‘The Phyllis Evans Medal’ as the Teachers’ Guild of NSW ‘Distinguished Educator’ in 2019 and an Order of Australia Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2022.

 Dan is currently the director of Into the Deep Consultancy and provides consultancy and professional learning support for school communities and educational systems across Australia and the Asia Pacific region.


Dear NSW Members,

Happy New Fiscal Year, with strong hopes for no more social isolation which hinders our many get togethers, attendance at Investitures and Association membership. These hopes are so essential to effective revitalisation and rebuilding of our branch and regional connections with our members. A highlight for me was the June Zoom meeting with our Association’s NSW Regional Leaders. I was buoyed by their enthusiastic ideas which were stimulated by some new leaders as well as the continuing ones. Rotation of committee, board, council and group leaders ensures that any organization remains vibrant and relevant to today and the many tomorrows. This is even better when there is a mix of new and continuing leaders to ensure that the corporate culture and identity remain but we do not lose connection with the support of current community needs. Without these goals and purposes, we are not assured of long-term survival. In my time seventeen months as NSW Branch Chairman there have been significant regional leadership changes. I want to acknowledge the contributions of some significant regional leaders and welcome their successors:

  • The late Brian Mackander OAM who died the day after our Illawarra Regional luncheon. A founding member of the region and former NSW Branch Committee member.
  • The retirements of John O’Dwyer OAM (who has handed the Illawarra Regional Convenor role to Bill Dowson OAM), Audrey Hardman OAM (Mary Brell AM was elected her successor for the Central West Region Regional Convenor) and Mary Smith AM and Virginia Adlide OAM (who led the Southern Highlands Region and now succeeded by Sharon Hoogland OAM).
  • David McCann AM and Di Alexander AM who have taken on the Riverina Regional leadership after a gap, Grahame Gooding OAM (Clarence Richmond, after the death of Don Johnston OAM) and Harold Sharp OAM (Central Coast, after the death of Ron Sharp OAM).

Gail and Chris Dunne ([email protected]) and Patricia Carroll (all OAMs) have started the Sydney Northern Beaches sub-region and are holding their first luncheon on Saturday 30th July 2022 at The Manly Club and reservations can still be made on

Why am I buoyed? Firstly, the regional leaders Zoom with the Branch Committee every second month. June was our fourth virtual gathering. Covid has sold us the importance of keeping connected, at no financial cost and overcoming the tyranny of distance that is a massive issue for rural based communities. We encourage and resource each other by sharing ideas and experiences, as well as building up confidences to overcome social isolation by using new ways of connecting.

Secondly, we discussed ways of improving the benefits of Association membership, especially as longing and belonging should be essential purposes of any organisation. Our Membership Benefits Programme for discounted purchases has already attracted interest. We are the trial Branch for the Association. Increasing member contact with coffee chatting is already working well in several areas such that we are not restricted to annual or bi-annual luncheon as our only member face-to-face contact. The importance of storytelling with and between our members and building up mentoring where needed is relationally.

Thirdly, badge wearing opportunities are limited. This will be an ongoing discussion point and I welcome your ideas. I will be sharing what the benefits the Association offers to its members to help all of us enlist more Awardees to join.

Other news to share:

  • We have been allowed one Branch Committee member attending each future Investiture ceremony so we will be resuming our welcome lunches for new Awardees at Parliament House and hope to catch up with two absent years’ recipients.
  • We are planning a belated 40th Branch Anniversary Dinner and an “Opera” function.
  • The Archibald guided tours were very successful.
  • More webinars are being planned and we need your ideas for topics and speakers so that we can be assured of member participation.
  • There will be twenty-six recipients of our Branch’s Youth Community Service Award this year and we are inviting each of them to connect with a local member as a mentor. These awards will be presented on September 2 at Government House NSW. Frank Kelleher OAM has done a magnificent job in maintaining this programme throughout the covid disruption.

Jim Mein AM
NSW Branch Chairman
[email protected]

PS:  Please find attached to this e-Newsletter, a draft list of what is termed “What is in it for being an OAA Member” comment/feedback is welcome.

Building on our Chairman’s remarks about multiplying our efforts and impacts for Australia to be a more “multi” cross cultural  Nation, we are seeking input from our Members for a series illustrating how this is already being achieved in NSW.  We would like to share your thoughts and ideas in our newsletters over the coming months.

  • Please send any examples of the work being done in your community to multiply the impact in NSW and more broadly to:
  • Email: [email protected]



MEMBER BENEFITS PROGRAM, for the Order of Australia Association, NSW Branch Members

Fiskars Group

We have had the opportunity and privilege to negotiate on behalf of our members some benefits which will be useful, especially for purchasing gifts for family and friends.  Fiskars Group includes such famous brands as Royal Albert, Royal Doulton, Waterford and Wedgwood.  Price lists and order form are available on the following link:

To take advantage of this offer please see the attachment in the above link entitled “OAA NSW Branch Invitation”.  As the offer states, you will be entitled to at least 50% off retail price of any item/s you choose and Fiskars have very generously offered postage and handling of a flat rate of $9.95 across NSW.  The pricelist is in the above link.

To place an order you will need both the OAA NSW account number (77007) together with your member number.  If you do not know your OAA Member number please contact Dr Geoffrey Glassock AM by email –  [email protected] or Martha Jabour OAM by email – [email protected]  They can send you your number.

For all orders please email [email protected]  or call 1300852022

If you have any questions please email our Hon. Secretary Martha Jabour OAM on [email protected]