FINDING out he was being considered for Queens Birthday honours came as a "rude shock" to community volunteer Owen Rushton.
The quietly-spoken Bowraville primary school teacher said he was stunned when first notified of the nomination but felt truly humble when the Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division was finally confirmed.
"It wasn't exactly something that happens to you every day and it's always been something I saw happen to other people," he said.
"At first it was all a bit of a mystery and the hardest part was keeping the news confidential but I'm getting used to the idea now."
Owen's nomination was a joint exercise involving his three main areas of interest.
"A fair chunk of my time goes to promoting the Macksville Gift and I hope there's recognition for working as a classroom teacher, especially the last 10 years with PSSA sport.
"However, I'm proud to support the rescue association which has had success in recent years with the purchase of two new vessels and the completion of premises.
"My thanks to all in the community who have made a contribution in any way."
Mr Owen William Rushton of Macksville.
For service to the community of Nambucca, particularly through Marine Rescue New South Wales.
- Unit Commander/Captain, Marine Rescue Nambucca Heads Unit, Marine Rescue New South Wales, since 1998; Member, since 1996.
- Former Chair, Marine Committee, New South Wales Volunteer Rescue Association; Member, since 1989.
- Assistant Principal, Bowraville Central School; Teacher, since 1995.
- Zone Representative, Nambucca District, New South Wales Primary Schools Sports Association, since 1999; Treasurer, since 2003.