Australia Day honours for beloved Gympie representatives
TWO familiar Gympie faces are the recipients of Australia Day Honours this year.
Marlene Owen will receive a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her extensive volunteer work across the community.
The Order of Australia recognises Australians who have demonstrated outstanding service or exceptional achievement.
As the founding member of Supporting Chemotherapy in Cooloola since 2006 and her volunteer work with Bush to Beach, Cooloola Gold Lions Club, the Gympie Music Muster, the Gympie Show, Little Haven Palliative Care, the Rainbow Beach Droughtrunners and her extensive work with the homeless, Marlene has done more than her fair share of carrying the load in the community, according to the awards committee.
The Governor-general, David Hurley said. “Behind every medal and citation is a story.
“Whether through their service, sacrifice or significant achievement, these people help others and make our towns, communities and nation better.
“They’re extraordinary but also, in the best possible way, ordinary. The fantastic thing, the inspirational thing, is that we all know people like those who have been recognised today – people who look out for each other and, day-in-day-out, serve their communities in ways big and small. We have seen countless examples of this sort of service during the bushfire crisis.
“These outstanding Australians represent the best of who we are as a nation,” Mr Hurley said.
Mrs Owen was astounded when she received word of the honour.
“I was just floored,” she said.
“I do what I do because I want to. There are a pile of volunteers who deserve this just as much. All volunteers do a wonderful job, but if this raises the profile of the work we do, I’m very keen to accept it.” she said.
When asked what first prompted her into volunteering Mrs Owen was said she wanted to reciprocate kindnesses she had received.
“A while back we had a house fire and the community helped me like you wouldn’t believe. I just want to give back,” she said.
Three Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) officers have been announced as Ambulance Service Medal (ASM) recipients in the Australia Day 2020 Honours List with Gympie Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Wayne Sachs being one of them.
Mr Sachs, who is celebrating 46 years of ambulance service in Queensland, began his career at the Queensland Ambulance Transport Brigade in 1974 as a Driver Bearer in Gympie.
He received his nomination as throughout his distinguished career, he has built a reputation for his exceptional clinical ability, leadership capabilities and for providing excellence in patient care.
Mr Sachs has been based at the Gympie Ambulance Station for most of his career, where in addition to undertaking various volunteer roles. He is also very active within the local ambulance committee, assisting with community awareness projects.
Mr Sachs, who is humbled by the honour, said he couldn’t imagine doing any other job.
“I adore being a paramedic. It is the best job and I can honestly say I don’t ever want to retire - this is my life,’’ he Sachs said.
“What we do for people is quite special and I am so appreciative the QAS employs me to do this.’’
Other people in neighbouring regions to get awards are former Noosa Mayor Bob Abbot, former editor of the Fraser Coast Chronicle Nancy Bates and author Brian Taylor from Kin Kin who will all receive OAMs.