New South Wales



Lindsay May OAM
50th Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race 2023

The Order of Australia NSW 2023 Christmas Luncheon

Order of Australia 2023
Recipients Celebrated in NSW Parliament



The Dubbo Committee of The Order of Australia organised a Luncheon for recipients of Australian awards which was held on Saturday 14th October 2023 at the Dubbo RSL 178 Restaurant.

 The Guest Speaker was Steve Hinks Director of Taronga western Plains Zoo who gave a most interesting history and future direction of the Zoo.

The Macquarie Conservatorium students entertained the 50 guests who attended from Louth, Bourke, Gilgandra, Condobolin, Stuart Town, Wellington, Dunedoo and Dubbo.

2023 Youth Community Service Award Presentations

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 a 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

[email protected]






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.

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

Rosemary Kariuki OAM; Gloria Kihuga and Ubah Gabris.

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 OAA NSW Branch showed us how to “Reflect, Respect and Celebrate” on Australia Day 2023!

Australia Day is a day to reflect, respect and celebrate the Australian spirit and the best of this country – our mateship, our sense of community and our multicultural diversity.

The Story of Australia began 60,000 years ago. New chapters are written every day. On our National Day, we reflect on our history, its highs and its lows and the need to respect the stories of others. We celebrate our nation, its achievements and most of all, its people as we’re all part of the story.

Australians recognise the importance of celebrating our national day – an inclusive day where people from all walks of life are welcome and different views are respected. We are a multicultural nation and celebrate our achievements by coming together and connecting with family, friends and community on Australia Day. There are more citizenship ceremonies held on Australia Day than any other day, which is a fantastic way to welcome our newest Australians into the community.

This year 150 NSW members and guests enjoyed the Australia Day Harbour cruise and luncheon, a longstanding annual event for our branch.

It was a most enjoyable, relaxed day on Sydney Harbour aboard the Captain Cook III on a picture perfect summer day. Everyone enjoyed the atmosphere with good food, drinks and importantly exchanging stories and life experiences with other Order of Australia recipients from all walks of life and different cultural backgrounds. All aboard had front row seats to the Australia Day Ferrython, the Salute to Australia and fast jet flyover, the Navy Helicopter flag display, the Maritime Mayhem water show, the Australia Day Harbour Parade, the Tall Ships Race and the Working Harbour Festival.

In the theme of the Australian spirit, the charity we supported this year was the Royal Flying Doctor Service NSW who provides care to all Australians! Our very generous members and guests present raised $3380 on the day.

The Order of Australia Association 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 especially in rural and remote areas across our Nation. The Australia Day 2023 Honours List recognises and celebrates 1,047 recipients. Jim stressed the importance of nominating worthy Australians for recognition, including women, younger people and Australians from our many diverse indigenous and multicultural backgrounds.

Deputy Chairman and Event manager Dr John Gullotta AM, thanked everyone for attending and supporting this special day. He then highlighted and expanded on the excellent work of the Royal Flying Doctor Service NSW, who brings vital emergency medical and primary health services to our remote and regional areas to reduce the disparity in health service access for all Australians.

It was a very successful and enjoyable day and we look forward to reflecting, respecting and celebrating our National Day again next year!

Dr John Gullotta AM
Deputy Chairman and Events Manager
The Order of Australia Association NSW

National Conference 2023
May 18 – 21 in Geelong Victoria
Working Together-Building the Future

Please refer to for the following:-
National conference program
Conference booking options and direct click to book
Sponsors to date
Pre & post tours
Accommodation options and booking code for OAA conference rate
Transport and transfer options
If you have already booked, thank you.

Geelong Library & Heritage Centre is the venue for the Welcome to Geelong Vice-Regal Reception on Thursday May 18. His Excellency, General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) and Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley will be attending the Reception, the Official Conference opening on Friday morning and the Saturday dinner and Foundation scholarship awards at Mt Duneed Estate.

For additional information please contact OAA VIC Branch Chair Helene Bender AM via Mobile 0407 261 951 or Email [email protected]

Members and guests are cordially invited to attend


To be held on

Sunday 11th December 2022 commencing at 12.00 pm

In the Harbourview Room at the Kirribilli Club

11 Harbourview Cres, Lavender Bay

Guest Speaker: Ms Denim Rose – NSW State Manager GIVIT

This luncheon is a fundraiser for GIVIT to support families affected by the recent NSW floods Electronic donations can be made at the luncheon or at any time via this link:


GIVIT is working with the NSW Government to manage donations of essential items and services for people impacted by the recent floods across the state. There are requests for almost 35,000 essential items for communities affected by this disaster. GIVIT will be working with these communities for as long as this recovery takes. 100% of publicly donated money received by GIVIT will be used to purchase essential items. GIVIT buys locally where possible to support the local economy of impacted communities during these difficult times especially over the Christmas period.


Pre-luncheon drinks and canapes will be followed by a seated Christmas themed luncheon with a selection of soft and alcoholic beverages included in the cost.


Members and Guests – $100.00 pp. (Inc. GST)


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


RSVP ESSENTIAL: No later than 2nd December 2022


Please reserve your ticket(s) via this link:



The Kirribilli Club is just a short stroll from Milsons Point train station. There is some parking available at the club at a flat rate of $12. The car spaces

are available on a “first come, first served” basis. Keep your parking ticket with you and please be sure to pay at Reception before leaving the Club.


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

Members and Guests are cordially invited to attend


Sunday 11th December 2022 commencing at 5pm-7pm


Dress: Smart Casual

Members and Guest – $20/head nibbles – Purchase own drinks

RSVP ESSENTIAL: No Later than 2nd December 2022

Reply : Gail Dunne 0419279337 or email [email protected]

Payment: BSB: 062 028   A/C: 0090 5847

Governor’s welcome to new recipients November 14 2022

Dr Frank Kelleher OAM, Mrs Trish Wetton OAM, Mr Jim Mein AM, Mr Guy Zangari MP, Member for Fairfield, Professor Michael Kidd AM, Deputy Chief Medical Officer of NSW, A/P John Gullotta AM


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 Jill, 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.

Susan Wakefield OAM


Following three years of inactivity due to COVID-19, the Southern Highlands Branch of The Order of Australia Association is re-emerging with a new Committee and a commitment to recognising Honours Awardees since Queens Birthday honours in 2019.

To recognise the 34 new Southern Highlands Awardees, a High Tea Reception was held at the Mittagong RSL on Friday 14 October 2022.  NSW Branch Chairman, Jim Mein AM was in attendance to present the individual Awardees. 

Over 50 OAA Awardees and their partners enjoyed a wonderful time of catching up with both old and new members and feedback from the event was exceptionally positive. 

The retiring committee, especially Virginia Adlide OAM, Margaret Smith AO, Malcolm Stephens CB, Peter Grigg AM, were acknowledged and sincerely thanked for their many years of dedication.

New Convenor of the Group, Sharon Hoogland, spoke on behalf of the new committee…

“This room is full of people who are committed to working for the common good…

For making our local community the best it can be…

For building our social capital that all may share in resources, knowledge, opportunities and purpose.

The new committee, and we trust our members agree, is committed to continue the support offered in past years, of Roma Dix OAM and her organisation of the Braille Music camp, a national event held annually in Mittagong.

We have also discussed ways to encourage Youth leadership locally, as they prepare for their careers and to encourage them in service to the nation, and following the purpose of the OAA, to pursue the charitable purpose of celebrating and promoting outstanding Australian citizenship.

We look forward to the future with great expectation, and we ask all of our members to join with us in making a unique contribution to the Southern Highlands community.”



Order of Australia Regional Annual Luncheon

October 15th 2022 at Dubbo RSL Memorial Club

The Dubbo/Orana Regional Group held a Luncheon to welcome new recipients and others who were attending for the first time. Despite flooded roads and continuing rain, there were 65 attendees from Bourke, Louth, Dunedoo, Wellington, Stuart Town, Gilgandra, Tottenham, Trangie and Coonabarabran as well as local residents.  This followed a two-year interruption caused by Covid.

The Director and students from the Macquarie Conservatorium provided entertainment.

The Special Guest Speaker was Dr Florian Honeyball, Chair of the Cancer Centre at the Dubbo Base Hospital, who addressed the Group and explained the operation of the Centre and the new equipment which is the best in the west.

Dr Florian also complimented the regional community efforts in raising funds to build the Home Stay residences beside the hospital providing accommodation for patients and family from western areas.

The afternoon concluded with the drawing of the lucky door prize and raffle which were kindly provided by Rex Airlines and The Dubbo RSL Club.




Back Row: David Creenaune OAM, John McKenzie OAM AFSM, Wally Flynn OAM, Kath Readford OAM, Reg Ferguson OAM

Front Row: Brian Semmler OAM, Ruby Riach OAM, Margaret Hughes PSM, Ruth Shanks AM.

Clarence/Richmond Regional Branch

The Clarence/Richmond Branch held its annual function on Sunday, 18th September at the Alstonville Bows and Sports Club.

This function had been planned for May, but the Committee decided to postpone it because of the ongoing disruption in the district caused by the aftermath of the unprecedented flooding across the region in February and March.

The luncheon was well attended by 21 Awardees and 17 Guests. Our Guest speaker was Mr Stephen Garbutt OAM. Steve was given his award in 2021 for his long service to the community through his work with Emergency Services, and especially in his role as long term Captain of the Wyrallah Bush Fire Brigade.

Steve spoke on his many deployments, working on Bush Fires in four States over many years, as well as his work in Flood cleanups, especially in this year’s Northern Rivers floods. He emphasised the emotional stress that all emergency personal experience when dealing with these devastating situations, and with peoples trauma in loosing lives, possessions and animals.

The Branch Committee were all returned for another year, and next year’s function is planned to return to May 2023.

Grahame Gooding OAM
Branch Coordinator



Mr Steve Garbutt OAM Guest Speaker

Attendees at the function.

Hastings Macleay

On Wednesday 27th July 2022 the Hastings/Macleay Branch gathered for an informal luncheon at the Port City Bowling Club.

State Branch Chairman Jim Mein AM attended and shared information on State activities including the Youth Community Service awards.

Former Qantas Flight Attendant, Barbara Smith, gave a presentation on volunteer activities by Qantas Flight Attendants while in overseas ports including in Asia and Africa.

The Hastings/Macleay Branch plans on having another luncheon in the leadup to Christmas. However, in the meantime informal coffee sessions will also be happening.

Far left to right around back – Patricia Johnson OAM, Virginia Cox OAM, Grae
Cox, Laurie Smith OAM, Laurie Orchard OAM, Ian Campbell APM, Jim Mein AM,
John Ingram OAM.

Middle row – Sue Baker OAM (Blue top), Helen Ross OAM, Jan Ingram, Penny

Front row – Bill Secombe, Winifred Secombe OAM, Betty Boyd

Members of the Hastings Macleay region of the Order of Australia Association held early October at the Port City Bowling Club

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



Over 90 awardees attended the July Luncheon at the Wallsend Diggers Club and welcomed the new awardees for the Hunter Region.  The luncheon was a huge success with many people attending with guests and family.  The guest speaker was Hilton Grugeon AM.

The attendees travelled from far and wide throughout the Hunter region and many managed to catch up with friends they had not seen for a while and many new friends were made.

Left to Right: Bill Hanley OAM, Stephen Finney OAM, Charles Stevens OAM, Brian Rudder OAM, Peter Corcoran AM Seated: June Cameron AM, Geoffrey Kellerman AO

Left to Right: Frank Kitcher OAM, Lorraine Gardner OAM, the son of Doris Dumbrill, Doris Dumbrill OAM, Brian Rudder OAM, Kevin Short OAM and Larry Roddick OAM.


The Northern Beaches Regional Inaugural luncheon was held at the Manly Club on 30 July 2022 to begin a new chapter in the regional areas of NSW for the New South Wales Order of Australia Association.  Over 30 members and new awardees attended the luncheon at the Manly Club and were warmly welcomed by Mr Jim Mein AM Chairman of the NSW Branch, Dr John Gullotta AM Deputy Chairman and Romano Di Donato OAM committee member, Mrs Gail Dunne OAM NSW Treasurer and Chris Dunne OAM.

The idea of holding a luncheon for a Sydney Region of the NSW Branch was first developed by Mrs Gail Dunne OAM. Contacting many Northern Beaches members as possible to attend a local function within the Northern Beaches region.  She was heartened to hear from many people on the wonderful idea of holding a ‘local’ luncheon for members and new awardees within their own region. The Guest speaker for the day was Patricia Carroll OAM retired CEO SGSCC.

Of the attendees, there were 9 new awardees from the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2022 list.  One new awardee Valerie Hoogstad AM, For Services to not-for-profit sector and Tertiary Education, unfortunately is not in the accompanying photograph.

The luncheon was a wonderful success and it will be followed up with a Christmas function in December.

L to R
John Donnelly OAM – For Services to Community through Welfare Organisations
Martin Hill AM – For Services to Business, to Sailing and to the Community
Daniel White OAM – For Services to Education
Jonathan King OAM – For Services to Community History
Jane Judd OAM – For Services to Conservation and the Environment
Lynette Millett OAM – For Services to Animal Welfare
Joan Reid OAM – For Services to Conservation and the Environment
Lynleigh Greig OAM – For Services to Wildlife Conservation


Photographs of the AGM can be viewed through this link:


A small group of our members enjoyed a Christmas Coffee session at our local club.

L to R – John and Jan Ingram, Tony and Vicki Hanks, Margaret and Arthur Roberts, Laurie Smith, Patricia Johnson and Barbara Smith.

Clarence Richmond Region

Alstonville Luncheon

The Clarence -Richmond Region event was their first in four years and our first regional function since COVID restrictions have been relaxed. A successful return and I was asked to preside over their committee elections, the results being Graham Gooding was confirmed as their convenor and he has a committee of four to support him.

Barry Nash OAM was their guest speaker. A very interesting personal history beginning from the Island of Guernsey where his wife Trudie was also born. A Royal Navy man from age 12 wherein he served as telegraphist and many years on small ships such as minesweepers. They emigrated to Australia as ten-pound Poms and he served as Victorian policeman. On retirement, they moved to Ballina where they have an indelible impression on the locals with the RSL, Legacy and in many other ways.

L-R -Grahame Gooding OAM, Helen Hargreaves OAM, Jim Mein AM, Phillip Chapman OAM, Robyn Spruce OAM and John Barnes OAM

L-R -Grahame Gooding OAM, Helen Hargreaves OAM, Jim Mein AM, Phillip Chapman OAM, Robyn Spruce OAM and John Barnes OAM