Regional Groups

The first Regional Group to hold a function was Tamworth (now the North West Regional Group) on 21st September 1984; up to the date of this Newsletter hundreds of functions have been held in regional areas – lunches, dinners, morning/afternoon teas, church services and other events.

The NSW Branch is deeply indebted to those Regional Convenors and their loyal supporters who have undertaken to arrange these social gatherings. Friendships have been made and many have joined the Association as a result of these contacts.

Since 2002 a Regional Banner has been presented by the Branch to many of our well-established regional groups.


Regional Groups – Latest News

Southern Highlands Regional Group, Order of Australia Association

Queens Birthday Honours List 2019

  • ITA BUTTROSE AC AO OBE – For eminent service to the community through leadership in the media, the arts, and the health sector, and as a role model.
  • CHRISTINE HAWKINS AM – For significant service to business and commerce, and to primary industry.
  • SHELLEY BOYCE OAM – for service to the community of Southern Highlands.
  • MAC COTT OAM (deceased 9.6.19) – For service to the print media as an editor and journalist.
  • KERITH FOWLES OAM – for service to music and the community of Southern Highlands.
  • KEN HALSTEAD OAM – for service to local government and engineering.
  • SUZANNE KINGSFORD OAM – for service to horticulture.
  • JOANNE PEARSON OAM – for service to nursing and the community.

Southern Highlands Regional Group, Order of Australia Association

Australia Day, 26 January 2019 honours recipients

  • Dr Richard Barnett AM – Burradoo – reconstructive surgery
  • Tim McKinnon AM – Moss Vale – community and international health
  • Jennifer Bowe OAM – Burradoo – community
  • Jenny Harper OAM – Bowral – community health
  • Ray Kuschert OAM – Welby – veterans and families

Southern Highlands Regional Committee (all hon.):

  • Chairperson – Margaret Smith AO
  • Treasurer – Malcolm Stephens CB
  • Assistant Treasurer – Arthur Delbridge AM
  • Sec/convenor – Virginia Adlide OAM
  • Members – Peter Grigg AM, Kit Bright OAM, Geoff Thiessen RFSM
  • Function Associates – Margaret Warby QGM, Jim McAlpine AM

Annual reception to welcome new awardees is held at Bradman Museum & International Cricket Hall of Fame on second Friday in March. Enquiries: 0419 214 603 Virginia

National Braille Music Camp – supported by this group annually.
End-of-camp concert on Friday 5 July 2019, commencing 7:30pm. Clubbe Hall, Frensham, Mittagong. Enquiries: 0419 214 603 Virginia

Illawarra Branch – March 2019

New Recipients Record. A record twelve persons from our branch area were recognised in the Australia Day Honours. Congratulations to

  • Emeritus Professor Sharon Bell (AM) Austinmer tertiary education,
  • Gerard Brown OAM (known as Uncle Gee) Barrack Heights indigenous community,
  • Sister Rita Fitt SM (OAM) Wollongong secondary education,
  • Alan Hardy (OAM) Shellharbour aged welfare,
  • Mark Harris (OAM) Tarrawanna mining industry,
  • Gregory Keir (OAM) Barrack Heights veterans and their families,
  • George Kolsky (AM), (OAM) Kanahooka scouting movement,
  • Danna Nelse (OAM) Barrack Heights youth welfare,
  • Laurie Matthews (OAM) Corrimal youth and social welfare,
  • Professor Judy Raper (AM) Wollongong higher education,
  • Professor Julie Steele (AM) biomechanics research,
  • Stephen Strange (OAM) Minnamurra surf life saving,

Also honoured was University of Wollongong Chancellor Jillian Broadbent (AC) from Bellevue Hill for community, education and arts.

May Luncheon Invitations to the May luncheon are enclosed with this report and I look forward to meeting many of our new recipients who will add to the good numbers who attended our 2018 functions. Thanks to our secretary Lynn Wilson OAM for her organisation of the functions and Dapto Leagues Club for their continued hospitality.
Donation. At the November luncheon our guest speakers were from the Mercy Ships who gave an outstanding presentation and the branch made a donation of $500 to assist with their great work.

Raffle Many thanks for your support for our raffle at the luncheons and if you wish to donate a prize just bring it to the function.

Theme The theme for the May luncheon is “Service Clubs” and details from our treasurer Phil Thompson are attached.

Office Bearers The following are the officials of our branch for 2019

  • President Convenor John ODwyer OAM,
  • Deputy Brian Mackander OAM,
  • Secretary Lynn Wilson OAM,
  • Treasurer Phil Thompson OAM,
  • Committee, Jim Lyons OAM and Ron Dryburgh OAM.

Badges A reminder to wear your badge to our functions and for day time you should wear the largest badge.

Email Contacts A reminder if you have email contact please advise secretary Lynn as it makes keeping in touch so much easier.

State Annual Meeting Unfortunately I was unable to attend the recent NSW annual meeting but thanks is extended to both state and national bodies who are making a concerted effort to be closer to the regional branches and members.

Kind Regards John ODwyer OAM President-Convenor.

Southern Highlands Regional Group

Annual reception to welcome New Awardees from last 12 months
Friday 8 March 2019 – 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Ninety members and guests attended this reception held in The Bradman Museum and the International Cricket Hall of Fame, Bowral.

The purpose of the reception was to welcome and congratulate new awardees from the 2018 Queen’s birthday honours list and this year’s Australia Day honours list.

We were delighted to host, from NSW Branch committee, Chairman Peter Falk OAM and his wife Suzie, and Ron Sharpe OAM, State Regional Convenor.

Invited this year for the first time were school captains – and their respective school principals – from six (6) secondary schools/colleges in the Southern Highlands.

The students’ demeanour, interest and conduct were exemplary. Their attendance added to the evening for the Order of Australia members by giving both a forum for exchanging interests and for encouraging their ambitions. Many members remarked that it was a fair exchange – and a most productive evening.

Virginia Adlide OAM
Hon. Sec./Convenor
Southern Highlands Regional Group

Hastings/Macleay Branch Regional Group

Today, 13th March 2019, my wife Barbara and I travelled to Coffs Harbour to facilitate a luncheon for local award recipients. I have attached a photo taken at the luncheon, and I am pleased to say that we had 24 people in attendance, which included Barbara, myself and our newly appointed Regional Coordinator Ron Sharpe OAM. Ron was kind enough to make a short presentation giving information on The Order of Australia Association including support for the Young Endeavour programme.

The luncheon was held at the Coffs CEX Club and everyone was delighted with how the staff looked after us all and responded to any small unexpected requests. We could certainly recommend this location for future events.

This luncheon was initiated in order to resurrect branch activities in the area following the passing of their former Convenor some years ago. The attendance certainly reflected the interest in having branch activities considering I only started with a mere seven names. Our oldest attendee was Gwen Herdegen (seated at the front with eye patch), who at 98 years old wouldn’t miss the luncheon for anything, even though she had to leave early for her radiation treatment to her eye for cancer. THAT’S COMMITMENT!

All in attendance were interested in any plans for future functions, including some even showing interest in attending the  luncheon for the Hastings/Macleay Branch in Port Macquarie on Thursday 4th April 2019. I do believe we will have a new Convenor for the Coffs Harbour Branch in the near

Laurie Smith OAM
The Order of Australia Association – Hastings/Macleay Branch

Hunter Regional Group

The Hunter Regional Group enjoyed a luncheon at the Cardiff RSL Club on Saturday 16th February 2019 to welcome the OA Australia Day recipients of the Region. Ten, of the twenty-three local recipients were able to attend the luncheon with family and friends.

Kenneth William Guy OAM passed away on 27 December 2018 and was represented by six members of his family. June Cameron AM hosted the day and extended special congratulations to all of the recipients and a warm welcome to those in attendance at the luncheon.

The venue was comfortably full with 143 members and guests in attendance.

Jim Mein AM, the New South Wales Honorary Treasurer, attended the luncheon. He advised those present of current happenings at the National and State levels. He proposed a toast to the Order of Australia.

The special guest speaker on the day was Super Hubert OAM who delivered an extremely interesting run down on his past achievements as a magician, entertainer and charity fund raiser. His address was well received.

Fellowship and a wonderful lunch were enjoyed by all in attendance.

The next activity planned by the Order of Australia Hunter Regional Group is a Morning Tea at Cardiff RSL Club on Wednesday 17th July 2019.

PHOTO. Standing – Robert Dan OAM | Robert Kalaf OAM | Christopher Dooley OAM | Brian Atkins OAM | Bernie Curran AM | Ronald MacLeod OAM
Sitting – Robert Porter OAM | Heather McLaren OAM | Afaf Girgis AAM |
Lyndall Ryan AM | Dale Goldie OAM
Photo – Graham Hynds – Newlight Photography