COMMUNITY SERVICE: Wyrallah rural fire brigade captain Steve Garbutt is one of four Northern Rivers residents recognised with Order of Australia Medals for 2020. Photo: Marc Stapelberg
COMMUNITY SERVICE: Wyrallah rural fire brigade captain Steve Garbutt is one of four Northern Rivers residents recognised with Order of Australia Medals for 2020. Photo: Marc Stapelberg

AUSTRALIA DAY: Northern Rivers people honoured with an OAM

THEY are the ordinary Australians doing extraordinary things, and now they’re getting the recognition they deserve.

Four Northern Rivers residents have been named in the Australian Government’s Order of Australia list for 2020, the highest honour for citizens.

The residents, who are recipients of general Order of Australia Medals, have been recognised for their efforts in emergency service, international and local community service and preservation of community history.

STEPHEN GARBUTT (OAM)

FOR service to the community through emergency response organisations.

As a long time captain of the Wyrallah Rural Fire Brigade, Stephen Garbutt has seen many things in his long service to protecting the community.

Mr Garbutt, who started volunteering his time as a NSW Rural Fire Service volunteer firefighter in 1987, then known as the Bush Fire Service, he has risen through the ranks to become captain of his local brigade in 2007.

He has been awarded the Commissioner’s Commendation for Service in 2018, as well as a long service medal twice, first in 2007 and a second clasp in 2018.

ROBYN GRAY (OAM)

FOR service to community history.

Eureka resident Robyn Gray has been recognised for her selfless service as part of the

Brunswick Valley Historical Society, of which she was a founding president in 1982.

Over the years she has served in various roles including president and secretary and was awarded life membership in 2000.

She has served as both the author and editor of numerous local historical publications.

She was recognised with the Community Service Award for recognition of Outstanding Service and dedication to the community of the Byron Shire in 1998 and a recipient of a Certificate of Achievement from the Royal Australian Historical Society in 1994.

She has also been awarded a Bicentennial Medallion for Contribution to the bicentenary celebrations of European settlement in 1988.

CATHERINE ‘CLAIRE’ OELRICHS (OAM)

FOR service to the international community of Indonesia.

As the former manager of a cattle, horse and ostrich stud at Coopers Shoot as well as a horse trainer, it’s a wonder Catherine Oelrichs had the time to be a conservationist in Indonesia as well.

However she has been awarded an OAM as a result of her conservation work in Indonesia.

Ms Oelrichs founded the Save Indonesian Endangered Species Fund, and has been president since 2006.

She was the conservation co-ordinator of training and welfare improvements at Way Kambas Elephant Conservation Centre from 2007 to 2019.

Ms Oelrichs has also been a Southern Cross University scientific leader of the New Colombo Scholarships in Indonesia since 2014.

COLIN MANN (OAM)

FOR service to aged welfare.

Tenterfield’s Colin Mann has been recognised for devoted service to aged welfare as part of the Tenterfield Care Centre.

Mr Mann was the centre’s chair and director from 2009 to 2018, and was the chair of Haddington Nursing Home from 1999 to 2003.

Prior to that Mr Mann was chairman of Millrace Aged Care Hostel from 1988 to 1991.