Even now, Ronald Harris can be seen mowing the lawns of the Ballarat Central Uniting Church.
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
Mr Harris, a long-time contributor to the local Ballarat community, was formally recognised for his considerable efforts with an Order of Australia Medal announced as part of the Australian Honours List on the Queen’s Birthday.
“To be recognised officially is very rewarding,” he said.
“You become involved in the community in doing things, but you don't ever go looking for those accolades.”
Mr Harris has a long and varied history of contributing to local groups and services, starting with his joining of the parent’s committee of the 5th Ballarat Boy Scouts in 1963.
His involvement in the scouts eventually led to him acting as the co-operative chairman for an initiative that raised more than $7000 for a new headquarters established in Mt Pleasant’s Humffray Sreet that still stands today.
“It wasn't long after (joining the parent’s committee) before I found out that they needed to raise money for their own hall,” he said.
“A little group of us catered for functions and raised more than $7000.
“I spent about 15 years involved in that.”
While his community orientated mindset developed at local scout level, Mr Harris was also involved in other key projects across Ballarat.
Most notably, he helped establish the Ballarat Lifeline in 1970 .
Even today, Lifeline is a vitally important service that still provides confidential telephone crisis support for those in vulnerable positions.
“That was one of the most exciting committees I was on,” he said.
“Ballarat would have been about the fourth centre to go on the phones.
“We needed about 100 people to be trained as telephone counselors and we needed people to train them and premises as well.
"Eventually it all fell into place.
“Lifeline Ballarat initiated from what was the Wesley Church (now known as the Ballarat Central Uniting Church).”
He was also crucial to the running of the Ballarat Begonia Festival, spending more than 20 years helping run the event, with three of those years spent as chairman.
“It was a hell of a lot of volunteer labor,” he said.
“JUST a little piece” in a whole network to help returned servicemen is how Leigh Harvey views what he does to make life a little easier for veterans and their families.
Society has evolved. Fewer people have seen or directly know someone who has been involved in war, Mr Harvey said. As a Vietnam veteran, Mr Harvey hopes his experience can help in some way, no matter how small.
“We’re very lucky with the life we live in Australia,” Mr Harvey said. “Privilege has come at a great cost over the years, especially in the generations of WWI and WWII – and we’re still paying the cost with younger soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan...but a lot of people can’t truly relate to it.”
Mr Harvey, aged 71, has dedicated his life to service since his time in Vietnam and his work has been recognised with an Order of Australia Medal this Queen’s Birthday.
For almost 20 years, until the mid-1990s, Mr Harvey was lieutenant and relief fire captain for the Paraburdoo Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
Mr Harvey has been able to get more involved in the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia and the Returned and Services League since moving to Victoria, and has been a member of Ballarat sub-branches for both more than 10 years.
He is the VVA Ballarat vice-president and has been a member of the Red Shirts Australia movement that supports Australian troops. An army solider, Mr Harvey is also a long-time member of the Royal Australian Air Force Association Ballarat branch in his passion for WWII aircraft history.
Heavily involved in volunteer fundraising, Mr Harvey has his favourite “spot” outside Big W leading up to Anzac Day and Remembrance Day. He is humbled by all the family stories people tell as they offer a coin donation.
Mr Harvey embraces a chance to talk because for so long, he said, general attitude was to “grin and bear it”. Growing interest and tributes on Anzac Day, is important to Mr Harvey. He wants to keep stories alive.
Barry Golding has spent years considering what it takes to get people learning.
He’s clear there’s a big difference between education and learning.
His work in this field has earned the adjunct professor from Federation University and the patron of the Australian Men’s Shed Association recognition in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Dr Golding, who lives in Kingston, will be made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).
He has worked from the ground up to be one of the nation’s foremost experts on life-long learning.
“I first came to Daylesford in my 20s, I was unemployed on a work for the dole scheme,” he said.
“When you work from the ground up, you see things a lot differently to when you’re parachuted into a community.
“I think I got where I am by asking hard questions.
“My research has been to talk with people of diverse areas and backgrounds, in rural Australia….and to look at the nature and value of life-long learning.”
It’s this expertise that led him to work so closely with the Men’s Shed movement in Australia.
He has written a history, researched their positive impacts and tracked their growth in Australia and internationally, as well as another recent book looking at how men approach learning.
“My proudest community achievement is working with the grassroots Men’s Shed movement,” he said.
“It has transformed men, families, communities around the globe.”
Dr Golding said he was very grateful to Fed Uni and what is now known as Bendigo TAFE for their support over the years.
But Dr Golding, 66, is clear his work is not done yet.
He is currently researching what happens to young people in rural communities who fall out of education, and said he is worried about the opportunities current training environment offers.
“I guess I’m acutely aware that the opportunities for learning in Ballarat and other smaller towns have actually diminished through TAFE being cut, through adult education being made such that only vocational courses are available,” he said.
Former long-serving Stawell Secondary College principal Peter Martin firmly believes teachers need to serve in their community.
Which is why he is also a Stawell Regional Health board member, served on Dental Health Services Victoria committees, been a Dental Board of Australia community member and is a Ministerial Advisory Committee for Senior Victorians member.
Mr Martin has served on the Health Minister’s Council of Board Chairs, been the Victorian Primary Care Partnerships Advisory Group Grampians region representative, a Mansfield and Orbost Rural Ambulance Service past member and a volunteer ambulance driver for 15 years.
He was also a bail justice, a justice of the peace, a Lions Club of Stawell president and convenor of the annual Melbourne Cup Day Cancer Appeal for more than 20 years.
He served as a Human Research Ethics Committee member for 12 years and a Victorian Registrations and Notifications Committee member for “many years”, as well as a Dental Practice Board of Victoria non-practitioner member from 2007-2010.
Mr Martin said he was honoured to receive an Order of Australia medal for service to education and to the community in the Queen’s Birthday honours.
“It’s my second career (volunteering), Mr Martin said.
“It was a series of events that piqued my interest.
“My people skills and my general skills in dealing with the public under pressure have proved useful.
“I think I make a very genuine and valued contribution when we are making inquiries, and I give them insights that they probably wouldn’t have had before.”
Mr Martin was Stawell Secondary College principal from 1986-1994, Australian Secondary Principals Association executive officer 1995-2011 and Victorian Association of Secondary School Principals president from 1993-1994.
He is also an Australian College of Educators fellow and the Australian Principal’s Centre founder.
Dorothy Lucardie’s interest in adult education began when she went back to evening school to complete her Higher School Certificate after having her first child at 18.
“This experience was the instigator for my passion for adult learning and I wanted to work to help others to return to learning,” Ms Lucardie said.
She has since been Adult Learning Australia president, Australia’s representative on the Global Parliament finance sub-committee, Albury Wodonga Community College chief executive officer, Australian Coalition for Educational Development member and Pharmaceutical Society of Australia national training manager.
Ms Lucardie, who is currently completing a PhD at Federation University, was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for service to adult education.
She said her interest in adult learning worldwide was to “meet children’s learning outcomes, to support peaceful solutions to conflict and to address world challenges such as environmental degradation”.
Former Ballarat physician and palliative care pioneer Doctor David Brumley has received a Medal (OAM) in the Order of Australia for his service to medicine as a general practitioner, and to palliative care.
Dr Brumley came to Ballarat as a resident in general practice out of Melbourne University in 1975. He was involved with the setting up of Ballarat Hospice Care and developed an interest in palliative care generally.
“A lot of my experiences in general practice were experiences of difficulties in dying: about people not being able to die at home when they wanted to; about people being uncomfortable in the dying process.”
Dr Brumley’s honour recognises his extensive work and leadership in compassionate palliative outcomes.
Mrs Vivienne Joan Edlund of Ballarat has been awarded a Medal (OAM) in the Order of Australia for her service to the community of Victoria in the fields of politics, arts and social services.
Mrs Edlund was awarded the OAM in the Queen’s Birthday honours.
Mrs Edlund has been a leader of the writers' team at the Royal South Street Society Eisteddfod since 2000 and a volunteer writer and member since 1998. She is also involved in the Herald Sun Aria Competition.
She was a board member of Lisa Lodge (now Berry Street) women’s refuge between 2000-2004 and a member of its occupational health and safety committee from 2003-2004.
She has been a member of the Liberal Party of Australia since 1960 and a member of the Victorian Liberal Party Women's Section.
She has held leadership roles within state and federal sections and and is a member of the Victorian state assembly. She received a Federal Award for Meritorious Service to the Liberal Party of Australia in 2012.
The Courier attempted to contact Mrs Edlund to speak about her honour. However, she declined our offer of an interview.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.