Shoalhaven Australian honours recipients gather

The Shoalhaven Branch of the Order of Australia Association has held its annual get together at Worrigee House.

The gathering recognises locals who have received Australian honours and welcomes the new recipients from the previous year.

In the last year the Shoalhaven, which boasts more than 90 local residents who have been awarded Australian honours, received a number of new recipients, including John Downton, John Bennett, Joanna Gash, Robyn Florance and Ray Vincent.

Unfortunately only three, Joanna Gash, John Bennett and John Downton, were able to attend Wednesday’s function as special guests.

Another special guest was the NSW Regional Groups co-ordinator Garth Doyle who also spoke to the gathering, passing on what is happening at a state and national level for the awards.

Shoalhaven group co-ordinator Rod Gibb said the local organisation has held a function annually for a number of years.

“It is our way of getting all of the Australian honours recipients together and also recognise and congratulate the new award winners,” he said.

He said it was also important the tradition of Australian awards be continued.

“It is important we recognise and acknowledge those people who do so much work for our community, in whatever field they are involved in,” he said.

“Recognition of the people who serve our community. And it’s important we keep these awards relevant to young people to ensure the ongoing future of the honours system.”

John Bennett, who was awarded the OAM in this year’s Australia Day honours,  for service to agricultural and show societies, gave a presentation during the function of his role as ringmaster at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.