New South Wales

Please click here to view a copy of the NSW Branch Chairman’s Report to the 2023 Annual General Meeting

Jim Mein AM
NSW Branch Chairman and NSW Branch Nominated Director
7th March 2023

Dear Members,

March has, I hope, begun a new era of enthusiastic fellowship with so many activities happening and being planned in Sydney and in the regions.


The Annual General Meeting in Sydney was attended by over sixty-five members, including new Awardees and three of our Regional Convenors: John O’Dwyer OAM (Illawarra), John Wakefield OAM (Lower Blue Mountains) and Laurie Smith OAM (Port Macquarie).

Ms Trish Wetton OAM and Central Coast Regional Convenor Harold Sharp OAM were elected to the Branch Committee, along with our previously co-opted Branch Membership Officer Dr Geoffrey Glassock AM. We will share more about their backgrounds on the Branch website in due course. The addresses by two of our Branch Community Service Youth Awardees, Michael Summers and James Gray were incredibly inspiring speeches on their school service and what they are now doing. Australia is in positively good hands.

Most persons at the AGM stayed for a tantalizing luncheon and were mesmerised by Retired Detective Superintendent Deb Wallace APM as she recounted her experiences in the NSW Police Service from her cadet days through the ranks to Commander of Task Force Raptor.

I also attended the get togethers for the Hunter and Shoalhaven Regions, and Chris and Gail Dunne, both OAMs at the New England North-West Region All great occasions with local community leaders also attending. The great speakers came from inside our membership and details and pictures will be on the branch website.


Please register early for the first National Conference of the Association since Hobart in 2019. Details are on the Association website and in the latest issues of “The Order”. General Registration: Use this link:

I have been to three before and each one was memorably stimulating. It will be our turn in 2025 so do not wait till then!


Our Branch’s first cross the State activity on April 21st will be our first webinar wherein Dr Chris Russell AM will lead discussion on one of the little-known but critical world challenges for the next fifty years, namely feeding the world’s population. Chris is an agricultural scientist who was for many years on the ABC TV programme, “The Inventors.”

Did you know that what the world will eat over the next half century, will be more than what has been eaten in all the years up till now! AND, we are currently only producing 30% of what will be needed. IT IS STAGGERING. Invitations will be emailed shortly but the intention is to bring country and city- based members virtually together, thereby bridging the geographical map of our state and reducing member isolation.


It is pleasing to see the regions returning to get togethers whereat they are holding Annual General Meetings and electing committee members, each of whom will be for a three years term. They can seek re-election for another such period or two, but their cumulative service cannot be more than nine consecutive years.

We are saying farewell to some regional convenors after their sterling service in that role and welcoming others. It is important that the regions run with a committee to share the load, mix the long serving with newcomers’ ideas and to ensure seamless succession planning. The latest convenor changes are Sharon Hoogland OAM who replaces Margaret Smith AO and Virginia Adlide OAM in the Sothern Highlands; David McCann OAM in the Riverina; Harold Sharp OAM in the Central Coast who succeeds the late Ron Sharpe OAM; and Grahame Gooding OAM in the Clarence-Richmond Region.


This is my parting message this month. I have been on the course for many decades and not just since receiving my AM in 2010. I was powerfully reminded of this philosophy by 101 years old member George (Peter) Lloyd AC, OBE, MID whom I met at the Shoalhaven afternoon tea. This dynamic member even did a sky dive for his centenary and is blind. He is still mentoring so will not retire from trying to make your community better! We will have his member story up on our website shortly.


Please remember to access our member benefits which were launched with my March letter (see below information). I look forward to joining the Illawarra and Central-West Regions at their get-togethers they plan at the end of May. Deputy Branch Chairman Dr John Gullotta AM is planning luncheons for new Awardees for Australia Day 2020-2022 and Queen’s Birthday 2020-2022, as well as a belated 40TH Association birthday- Covid permitting and depending on Government House.

Best wishes everyone,

Jim Mein AM
[email protected]

NSW Branch Chairman and Branch Nominated Director