Queen's Birthday Honours: Extraordinary Aussies honoured

THE Governor-General and Chancellor of the Order of Australia, Sir Peter Cosgrove, has approved awards announced today in The Queen's Birthday 2015 Honours List.

The Queen's Birthday 2015 Honours List recognises a diverse range of contributions and service across all fields, including professional endeavours, community service, Defence and Emergency Services personnel, and acts of bravery.

Recipients from the Coffs Coast region are as follows:


Emergency Service Medal

Richard Taffs, Wooli
Mr Taffs has been an active member of Volunteer Marine Rescue New South Wales (VMRNSW) since 2002 and is currently serving as Unit Commander of Marine Rescue Wooli and is a qualified Marine Rescue Master as well as Training Officer and Training Systems Officer.
In all his roles he has demonstrated significant service.
As Master of the Wooli rescue vessel he has performed over 3000 active sea hours with more than 100 rescues and assists, especially during hazardous weather and sea conditions.
Since 2007 he has dedicated himself to the successful establishment of VMRNSW as the state's single marine rescue service and especially the creation and operation of its Registered Training Organisation (RTO).
As an original Director, and with his training background, he was appointed by the Board to chair the Training Committee and wrote and coordinated development of the Assessment Plans for the 40 units of competency to go onto the RTO scope.
These plans were required for registration.
He then produced the rating Operational Assessments and served on or chaired the selection panels to appoint training staff.
This culminated in VMRNSW being approved as an RTO in 2011.
Additionally he has been actively engaged in promoting boating safety for the Clarence Valley community.
Mr Taffs is recognised for his distinguished service to the community.


Australian Fire Service Medal

Rudolf Schuett, Moonee Beach 
Mr Schuett joined the New South Wales Rural Fire Service as a volunteer member of the Moonee Rural Fire Brigade in 1995 and has served with distinction during the past 20 years.
He has been the Operational Support Officer since 2005, providing a vital service to all brigades and volunteers across the Mid North Coast Team.
He provides calm and effective leadership on the fire ground and has been an active contributor to significant bush fire campaigns that have affected New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria.
One of his greatest attributes is his ability to encourage and maintain strong teamwork across a range of members with differing backgrounds and values.
He spends many hours working on fleet and equipment, often travelling long distances to collect new vehicles, or to transport crews to out of area fire incidents.
He assists with vehicle recovery and conducts driver training for candidates to obtain their Medium Rigid licences.
It is well known the Rural Fire Service trainees under Mr Schuett's tutelage, have been very well prepped for the licence assessment.
Additionally, his knowledge of the local area is invaluable and augments his dedication and enthusiasm which makes him a highly valued and respected volunteer fire fighter.


Order of Australia

John Bowell, South Kempsey
For service to local government, and to the community of Kempsey.  Local Government: Mayor, Kempsey Shire Council, 2008-2011 and 1996-1998; Deputy Mayor, 1995-1996; Councillor 1995-2012; Emeritus Mayor, 2012.  Tourism: Chairman, Macleay Tourist Authority. Member, Arakoon State Recreation Area Trust, 1983-1997; Planning and Restoration, Trial Bay Gaol. NSW Shires Association Delegate, Caravan Parks Committee, Department of Lands, ten years.  Community service includes:  Committee Member, Clinical Services Plan, Kempsey District Hospital, 2006. Member, Kempsey District Silver Band, 'no dates'. Inaugural Chairman, Establishment Committee, Police and Community Youth Club. Patron, Macleay River Historical Society, 'no dates'. President, Kempsey Swimming Club; Executive Member, many years; Chief Judge; Life Member. Appointed, Fellow, Australian Institute of Environmental Health, 1992. Justice of the Peace, 'no dates'.

Beryl Bracken, Coffs Harbour
For service to the community of Coffs Harbour, and to sport.
Coffs Harbour Hockey Association:
Board Director, 1998 - 2009; Secretary and Assistant Secretary, 1998 - 2009; Various Executive roles including President; Vice-President; Competition Convenor, many years; Team Manager and Coach, many years; Member, 45 years.
Canteen Manager, 45 years; Member, Special Events Committee, many years.
Umpire, until 2010; Committee Member, 2002 - 2010; Umpire Exam Coordinator; Mentor and National Umpire, 10 years.
Player, Women's Veteran's Hockey, 27 years; Recipient, Blue Jumper, player over 75 years award, 2013; Maroon jumper, player over 70 years, 2008; Green jumper, player over 60 years, 1998; Gold Jumper, player of 50 years of age, 1988; Life Member, 1992.
Women's Lawn Bowls:
Committee Member, Coffs Harbour District Women's Bowling Association, 5 years; Organiser, District Pennants, District Championships; Play-offs; District Calendar; umpire.
Committee Member, West Coffs Women's Bowling Club, since 2004; Vice President, 6 years; Assistant Social Director, 6 years; Chair, Match Committee, since 1999; National Umpire, 10 years.
Umpire, Mid North Coast Women's Bowling Association, 10 years; District Match Competition Committee, since 2009.
Director, Vision Impaired Bowls Association, 5 years; Volunteer, 5 years.
Bowls Organiser, Mid North Coast Vision Impaired and Blind Bowlers Association, current; Umpire, 10 years.
Other service includes:
Member, Pink Ladies, Coffs Harbour Base Hospital, 11 years.
Life Member, Parents and Citizen's Committee, Coffs Harbour Infants School, 1970.
Foundation Member, Coffs Harbour Junior Surf Lifesaving Club, 1965 and Member for over 20 years.

Elise Crofts, Coffs Harbour
For service to the community of Coffs Harbour, and to youth.
District Leader, Coffs Harbour Girl Guides, since 2003; Brownie Leader, 1989-2003; Ranger Guide Leader, 1976-1982.
Volunteer, Coffs Harbour Night Van (providing food for the homeless), many years.
Councillor and Elder, Coffs Harbour Uniting Church, many years
Organiser, Christmas Gift Appeal, UnitingCare Burnside, approximately 10 years.
Nurse Unit Manager, Coffs Harbour Day Surgical Centre, approximately 25 years.
Volunteer, East Timor Eye Program (visiting the country on 9 occasions to perform volunteer eye surgery and deliver medical training to local communities), since 2006.
Volunteer, Mercy Ship Program (travelling to Tonga in 1997 and Fiji in 2004 to perform charity medical work).
Volunteer, India Vision Beyond Oz Program, 2013 and 2013.
Volunteer, Papua New Guinea Eye Care Program, 2011.
Recognition includes:
Recipient, Coffs Harbour Australia Day Volunteer of the Year Award, Coffs Harbour City Council, 2012.
Recipient, Woman of the Year Award, Quota International of Coffs Harbour, 2011. 

Brian Darby, Dorrigo
For service to the community of Dorrigo.
Founding Member, Dorrigo Amateur Boxing Club, ongoing; Trains a number of young boxers in the region.
Visits patients at the Dorrigo Multi-Purpose Service, ongoing.
Active Supporter and Fundraiser for a range of community organisations including the Bellinger Valley and Dorrigo Rugby League Football Club, and the Dorrigo and Guy Fawkes Racing Club.
Member, Dorrigo Sub-Branch of the Returned and Services League of Australia, current.
Stock and Station Agent, for over 40 years (from 1958 until retirement); Co-Founder, Moy and Darby Livestock and Property Agents, 1966.
Justice of the Peace.
Melvin Jones Fellow.
Recognition includes:
Awarded Citizen of the Year, Bellingen Shire Council, 2003.

Pamela Guyer, West Kempsey
For service to the community of Kempsey, and to netball.
President, Macleay District Netball Association, 1959-2007; Senior Vice-President, 2008-2012; Treasurer, 1958-1960; Canteen Supervisor, 2008; Life Member, 1980.
Association Delegate, Netball New South Wales, 1980-2007; Recipient, Anne Clarke Service Award, 2004.
'Pam Guyer Netball Centre', Kempsey, named in her honour, 2010.
Player, Manager and Travel Coordinator, Golden Oldies netball team, since 1990.
Has held various positions including Umpire, Coach, Scorer, Technical Official and Player, since 1954.
Recipient, Australian Sports Medal, 'for service to the administration of netball', 2000.
Founder, Natureland School of Swimming, 1982; Swim Teacher, many years.
Technical Official, Recorder and Handicapper, Kempsey Swimming Club, many years; Learn-To-Swim Teacher, many years; Swim Meet Announcer, many years; Life Member, 1984.
Delegate, Mid North Coast Swimming Association, 1974-2009; Member, District Selection Committee, 1993-1994;
Member, Jury of Appeal, 1998-2001; Treasurer, 2005-2011; Life Member, 2010.
Life Member, Swimming North Coast Inc, 2012 and Delegate.
Swim Announcer, State and Australian Championships and International Meets, since 2002.
Member, Kempsey Eisteddfod Society, since 1951; Competitor; Competition Secretary Vocal, Instrumental and Speech, 1993-2013; Competition Secretary Publicity, 1996-2011; Committee Member, many years; Life Member, 2010.
Member, Kempsey Singers, over 30 years; Kempsey Choral Society; Anglican Church Choir, many years.
Volunteer, Kempsey Meals on Wheels, 'for 18 years'.
Volunteer (in support of her husband), Kempsey Fire Brigade Headquarters, 19 years.
Certificate of Merit, 'for achieving excellence in Netball', Kempsey Shire Council, 2000-2001.

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