By Lachlan Ellis
Four Moorabool residents have been named recipients of one of the country’s highest honours, with winners announced over the King’s Birthday Weekend.
The late Dorothy Elmer and Donald and Jennifer Rickerby from Bacchus Marsh, and Michael Ryan from Ballan, were all named Order of Australia Medal (OAM) recipients on Sunday 11 June by the Governor-General, His Excellency the Honourable David Hurley.
Mr Ryan – the current President of the Ballan & District Chamber of Commerce and Regional President of St Vincent de Paul Ballan – said it was an honour to be named a recipient of the OAM.
“It’s a funny thing, everybody says you don’t expect it, but I have to say I’m pretty proud, and thrilled that someone thought what I’ve done was worthy of a nomination. So, at the moment I feel really good about it,” he told the Moorabool News.
Mr Ryan said he received an email about six weeks ago.
“It was a real surprise. I had no idea I’d been nominated. Getting involved in cricket, footy, and school groups, you get to meet people, it’s in your own interest. I do enjoy being able to give something back – I’ve been very fortunate with my education and work life, so I do sort of feel a bit of a responsibility to help with training and things I’ve been involved with community groups, who may not have those skills and do a lot of other things I can’t do.”
Mr and Mrs Rickerby received the OAM for their service to horticulture, with Mr Rickerby serving as President of the Horticultural Society of Victoria since 2008, and Mrs Rickerby serving as the Society’s Secretary since 2008.
They have also volunteered under the Society’s Disaster Fund, and were part of flood recovery efforts in the Loddon region in 2011. The pair said they are passionate about horticulture, and hope that through their volunteering they can inspire more people to get involved.
“On a personal basis, we can’t really believe it. It came out of the blue. We don’t overly expect to be awarded, we’ve been volunteering so long we figured no-one really cared. We’re very pleased that people have thought enough of us to do it. It’s been a long haul…it’s good to be recognised,” Mr Rickerby said.
Mrs Rickerby said they’d been involved with horticulture since about 1976.
“I was Secretary of the Frankston Garden Club and Don was involved with the Royal Horticultural Society on the committee then. We love plants, we’re plant-a-holics,” she added.
Dorothy Elmer posthumously received an OAM for her service to netball, holding several roles over the years including at Netball Australia and Netball Victoria.
The Governor-General congratulated all 1,191 Australians on The King’s Birthday 2023 Honours list, including the 621 awarded an OAM.
“Congratulations to the outstanding Australians recognised in today’s Honours List. Recipients have made substantial contributions and had a significant impact at the local, national, or international level. Some are volunteers, others have had a remarkable impact in professional roles – many have done both. They are all inspiring and their service is valued by us all,” the Governor-General said.
“Collectively they speak to who we are now and who we can be in the future. Each recipient has something in common: someone nominated them. The Order of Australia belongs to each of us because nominations come from the community.
“I encourage all Australians to consider nominating someone they admire who has had a significant impact in the community.”
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in the 13 June 2023 edition
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