TWO Corner Inlet district residents, Nadia Stefani of Fish Creek, and Jim Whelan of Yanakie, have received awards in the Australia Day 2023 Honours List.
Nadia’s unstinting service to the Fish Creek community and beyond for well over 50 years has been recognised with a Medal of the Order of Australia or OAM.
Jim’s half-century connection to Wilsons Promontory and his “outstanding public service to policy and program delivery, particularly in the area of conservation” and to ecological restoration has seen him conferred with the Public Service Medal.
In a column published in The Age, Council for the Order of Australia chair Shelley Reys wrote that “the only barrier to outstanding people being recognised in the Order of Australia [and other national award categories] is the absence of a nomination.”
Ms Reys urged individuals communities, and organisations “to act and nominate” to ensure that those people whose contributions to every walk and background of Australian life are suitably acknowledged.
“For every well-known name [on an Honours List] there will be many, many more who are only known to those they serve [and] last year 43 per cent of awards were for outstanding service or achievement in local communities,” she wrote.
“These people are often volunteers, who give their time, passion and energy to make the world around them a better place.
“The same qualities exist in those who, while not well-known, are recognised for their professional achievement – scientists, local leaders, people in industry, teachers, and so on.
“If you read their stories you will see they’re not simply doing their jobs well, but also expanding their contribution in many different ways, often by volunteering, mentoring or through charitable work,” Ms Reys stated.
“I would love to see more of these stories told on our front pages.”