Local heroes

Local Heroes

By 1 February 2024July 6th, 2024No Comments

Local Heroes

We all know people who make valuable and substantial contributions to our community.  If you have a story you want to tell about somebody who you think should be recognised, please email us at eastsidernews1@gmail.com. But, don’t forget to ask them first – it is important that we respect the person’s desire for privacy.

The Order of Australia 2024 King’s Birthday Honours

Glenys Grant

Congratulations to the 137 Victorian recipients recognised in the Order of Australia 2024 King’s Birthday Honours and Awards for the significant difference they have made to their community, their country or at an international level.

The Order of Australia recognises Australians who have demonstrated outstanding service or exceptional achievement.

Anyone can nominate a member of the community for an award in the Order of Australia. Nominating someone provides a chance to recognise a peer for their hard-work, service and dedication. It is an opportunity to celebrate those inspiring people who make our nation what it is.

All members of the community are eligible. Those awarded the Order include all age groups – both young achievers and mature; all professions, localities, gender and culture; and those from multicultural and multi-faith communities.

Some of the local recipients on the current Honours List include:

  • Brigadier Neale Edmund Bavington RFD ED (Retd) OAM – For service to veterans, and to the community.
  • Mr Craig Anthony Bennett AM – For significant service to health administration in leadership and advisory roles.
  • Emeritus Professor Michael Walter Buxton AM – For significant service to urban and environmental  planning, to tertiary education, and to the community.
  • Dr James Edward Elder OAM – For service to medicine as an ophthalmologist.
  • Ms Carolyn Elizabeth Ingvarson OAM – For service to conservation, and to the community of Boroondara
  • Mr James Andrew MacLeod OAM – For service to the community of Melbourne.
  • Mrs Catherine Anne Money PSM, AM – For significant service to leather research, and to environmental conservation.
  • Mr Reginald Keith Parsons OAM – For service to youth through Scouting.
  • Mr Sandy Roberts OAM – For service to media as a sports commentator
  • Miss Ann Southcombe Rusden OAM – For service to education, and to the community.
  • Mrs Anthea Swann OAM – For service to the community through a range of organisations.
  • Ms Kay Anne Taranto OAM – For service to animal welfare.
  • Ms Sakshi Sanjaya Thakur OAM – For service to the community through social welfare organisations

*Apologies to any awardees not included.

There are four levels of award.

The Order of Australia also has a Military Division (awards in this division are recommended to the Governor-General by the Minister for Defence).

  • AC: Individuals are appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for eminent achievement and merit of the highest degree in service to Australia or to humanity at large
  • AO: Individuals are appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service of a high degree to Australia or to humanity at large.
  • AM: Individuals are appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for service in a particular locality or field of activity or to a particular group.
  • OAM: The Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) is awarded for service worthy of particular recognition.

Source:  gg.gov.au

How to nominate someone for the Order of Australia

Anyone can nominate someone to be recognised through the Order of Australia at any time during the year.  To nominate, go to https://www.gg.gov.au/australian-honours-and-awards/order-australia/nominate-someone-order-australia

Meet the Locals: Ethan Newnham – science researcher, teacher and student

Glenys Grant

Do you ever wonder what makes you who you are? Ethan Newnham does, and he’s travelling to Oxford University to find out how the brain makes us who we are.

Ethan grew up five minutes from his local pool in Ringwood, learning to swim like many of his classmates. What was out of the ordinary was his love for the diving boards: he learned to flip and twist, training before and after school, hoping that one day he would represent Australia at the Olympic Games.

When a spinal fracture ended his diving dreams at 18, one would have thought he’d slow down. Instead, this made way for Ethan’s newfound obsession with the brain.

Ethan says: ‘I became interested in neuroscience because it combined the microscopic world of biology with big philosophical questions about who we are. At the same time, my family was caring for my grandmother who has Parkinson’s disease, so I knew that the brain wasn’t just fascinating, it had a very strong impact on each of our lives.’

This led Ethan to pursue neuroscience, the study of the brain and nerves, at the University of Melbourne. His degree included exciting projects, like designing an artificial intelligence program to categorise different types of brain cells. Since graduating, he has contributed to Umbrella Dementia Cafes providing social support for people with dementia and their carers.

Melbourne Uni was also where Ethan got his first taste of scientific research. In his current work at the Florey Institute, he investigates how brain cells store memories by recording their electrical signals, which he describes as ‘listening to the brain’.

Ethan applied to study a Master’s degree at the University of Oxford, but he knew that the chances of being accepted were slim. ‘I didn’t think I’d get an interview, so I had planned a holiday for the same period. I ended up on a video call very late at night, sitting on my friend’s bed because we didn’t have a desk. It worked out well though and my friends were right there to celebrate when I found out I had got in.’

He was right to celebrate, being one of only 13 students chosen to learn from the world’s leading neuroscientists. Ethan hopes to study how the brain ages, although hasn’t yet decided which techniques he will use. He credits his journey so far to some influential teachers and mentors, which is why he is also passionate about teaching.

Ethan excitedly told me about the class he created at the Box Hill University of the Third Age (U3A), inspired by his grandfather who taught a class on poetry. Ethan’s class is called ‘The Brain and its Mysteries’, and in it he shares fascinating neuroscience topics in weekly sessions. Topics span psychology, medicine and philosophy, asking questions like ‘Is the brain like a computer?’ and ‘How are we conscious?’.

‘Running my class at U3A is one of the most enjoyable things I’ve ever done. I get to share my passion and learn about what the brain means in class members’ lives. Some worked in healthcare or education, some have a family member, close friend or are themselves affected by a neurological condition, and others are just interested in learning something new.’

A new term of Ethan’s class is starting on 15 July, and he’d love to invite members of the community to join his weekly sessions before he leaves for Oxford in September. No prior knowledge is needed and the classes are open to guests, so you don’t need to sign up beforehand. If you would like to participate, you can email Ethan (newnham.ethan@gmail.com) for more information.

In the future, Ethan hopes to open his own neuroscience laboratory and inspire the next generation of scientists as a university lecturer. We wish him all the best on his Oxford adventure.

Happy 100th birthday, Mr Max Carland

On 31 March 2024, Mr Max Carland, a World War II Veteran and Kew resident, celebrated his 100th birthday. His family marked this magnificent achievement with a small party at his daughter, Lisa’s home. His son travelled from Western Australia to be with him on this special occasion

Max was born in Nhill and lived there until he and his wife Loris moved to Kew in 2022 to be closer to their family. From an early age, he had a fascination with and love of planes. He enjoyed spending time building and flying model gliders. He was involved in the local aerodrome and fondly recalls Sir Charles Kingsford Smith landing at Nhill in the 1930’s to refuel on route to somewhere else.

He enlisted with the Royal Australian Air Force at the age of 18, giving him the opportunity to serve his country and to further pursue his love of planes. He did basic training at Somers and learnt to fly Tiger Moths in Benalla. He then converted to Wirraways in Deniliquin and finally trained on Kittyhawks in Mildura. He achieved the rank of Flying Officer and was part of No. 76 Squadron, based on Noemfoor Island off the coast of New Guinea, as well as Borneo and the Philippines.

Immediately the war ended, Max joined the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan. He converted to flying Mustangs, a ‘pure joy to fly’, and patrolled the west coast for illegal ships. After 3 years, Max returned to Australia and joined the family timber and hardware business.

Mr Carland now lives with Loris in an aged care facility. While deteriorating eyesight has affected his capacity to read, he keeps up to date by reading the newspaper every day. He enjoys going on the outings with the aged care facility and he especially enjoys lunch at the Box Hill RSL Club.

Thank you to the Newsroom at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs for telling us about this significant occasion and giving us the opportunity to honour this amazing life and member of our community.






Rotary Hawthorn’s first Service to Seniors Award winner – Margot Boyle

Dorothy Gilmour, Rotary Hawthorn

Rotary Hawthorn has created an Annual Award recognising the contribution of a person who has given outstanding service in a voluntary capacity to older members of our Boroondara community. Last month, we were thrilled to present Margot Boyle as the recipient of the inaugural Rotary Hawthorn Service to Senior’s Award.

In presenting the award, President Elect Dorothy Gilmour Dorothy thanked Margot for being so selfless and for making a tangible difference to so many lives in the 21 organisations she had volunteered. Dorothy said Margot was ‘… the epitome of excellence in volunteering. You have shown yourself to have the biggest heart of love and compassion for people.  You strive towards making a difference.  Your passion, energy and sense of humour is unparalleled. We respect your spirit of volunteerism immensely.’

Gerard Mansour, the former Commissioner for the Aged and President of Wintringham presented a trophy to Margot. She responded in her own inimitable way by involving the whole room in an unexpected but delightful sing-along before thanking the club for the recognition.

Margot’s fun sing-along was ‘Fish and Chips and Vinegar’, a fun camp song for kids with rounds. Also known by its silly lyrics ‘one bottle of pop’ and ‘don’t throw your junk in my backyard’, everyone joined in and had fun taking turns and singing and laughing with this round song.

Cr Lisa Hollingsworth, Mayor Boroondara was also a guest of the club and spoke of Boorondara’s ongoing work and respect for the aged in its community.

from top left, President Elect Dorothy Gilmour; President Doug McLean; Mayor of Boroondara, Lisa Hollingsworth, and the recipient of the Service to Seniors award, Margot Boyle.

Peter Warner OAM

This article is based on an article first published in the Camberwell Magpies Swoop Newsletter Round 3.5 edition, 2023/24 and other sources.

The Camberwell Magpies Cricket Club recently celebrated the wonderful cricketing career of Peter Warner OAM. With 67 years of service, Peter is arguably the clubs greatest ever servant.

He began his sporting journey as a player with the Camberwell Cricket Club in the 1959/60 season, where he went on to have a 25-year career in Camberwell’s senior elevens before retiring in 1984/1985. He played a major part in the merger of the Camberwell and Collingwood Cricket Clubs in 1996/97 that led to the formation of the Camberwell Magpies.

He has held many positions at the Club including four periods as President. He only settled for the very best and it was reflected in the success achieved on and off the field. The scoreboard at Camberwell Sports Ground is named after Peter, a fitting tribute to a man who has served the Camberwell sporting community like no other.

The celebration saw Peter presented with the Dick Menting Award from Bendigo Bank for his lifetime of service to the community. The award included a $500 prize for Peter and $5000 to be donated to our club! A fantastic achievement for an even better man.

Peter was a Director of Cricket Victoria for 13 years and of Cricket Australia for five years. He was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for services to Cricket and Australian Rules Football.

Peter, we thank you for everything you have done throughout your life to serve our great club and we will continue to honour your legacy as we strive for premiership glory. You have stuck with us through thick and thin, through a merger and many a struggle but your loyalty has triumphed above all. Congratulations on a wonderful career at Camberwell. You are forever a life member and legend of our club.

Thank you to Helen Fitzpatrick for the photos

Bob Stensholt – Mainstreet Australia Main Street Champion of the Year Award 2023

On Friday 19 May, the Mainstreet Australia Awards were held at the Greek Centre in Lonsdale St, Melbourne. President of the Ashburton Shopping Centre Traders Association, Bob Stensholt was a finalist in the Main Street Champion category, and was subsequently awarded the Mainstreet Australia Main Street Champion of the Year for 2023.

Bob provided strong leadership throughout the pandemic and was often sought after by Federal, State and Local Government for his clear views on what was happening to small businesses and how all levels of government could best assist them.   To read more about Bob’s contribution, click here.

Marie Pietersz. Senior of the Year 2022 for the Promotion of Multiculturalism

On 26 October 2022, Boroondara resident Marie Pietersz was awarded the Senior of the Year 2022 Award for the Promotion of Multiculturalism by the Governor of Victoria, Hon Linda Dessau AC at Government House. This Award is given to an individual who has made a significant contribution to promoting the benefits of cultural diversity in their local community or in the broader community.

Pictured: Marie Pietersz with Minister Colin Brooks and Governor Linda Dessau at Government House on 26 October 2022

To read more of Marie’s story, please click here.

Dot Browne. Teacher, Athlete, Marathon Runner, dedicated community worker and family member.

Glenys Grant

Dot Browne (née Green) was awarded an OAM in the 1992 Australia Day Awards. Since then, she has continued to contribute to the community. Among her awards is a City of Whitehorse Australia Day Deakin Community Award, presented in 2008 for services in education, athletics and art. Dot’s life has seen many successes.

To read more, go here.

William (Bill) Chandler, OAM

The Eastsider News team is deeply saddened by the death of our founder, Bill Chandler on the morning of Sunday 24 July 2022.

Without Bill, there would not have been an Eastsider News.

Please click here to read more. 

Glen Waverley nurse, Alecx Quillope, named among top in Australia 

Glen Waverley’s own Alecx Quillope was recently recognised in Australia’s leading nursing agency’s Inaugural Caring for You Core Values Awards.

Please click here to read more.

A giant in the table tennis world: Don Cheyne

Neville Young

The Eastern Suburbs and Churches Table Tennis Association acknowledges the achievement of Don Cheyne who has contributed much to table tennis in this area and offers their congratulations to him for his 90th birthday.

To read more about Don, click here.  If you would like to hear Don talk about his experiences please click here.

Vale Don Cheyne OAM

Don passed away peacefully at Monash Hospital on June 1st. Don was two weeks away from his 91st birthday. Don had been a volunteer of the Eastern Suburbs and Churches Table Tennis Association for an unbelievable 73 years.

Neville Young has submitted a tribute to Don which you can read here.

Air Commodore Peter Newton AO (Retd) – Sharing with Love

 Longtime Blackburn resident, Peter Newton, instigated the establishment of Klibur Domin, a large health care centre outside Dili in East Timor following the brutal withdrawal of Indonesian troops. Klibur Domin (KD) means Sharing with Love in Tetum.

To read the full article about Peter Newton and his work in Timor Leste, please click here.

Daring to travel new paths – Neil Wilkinson’s political and ecumenical travels

Malcolm Cameron

David Williamson’s 1971 play Don’s Party caricatured the 1969 election night scene in the Victorian electorate of Holt with a plot descending into a raunchy ‘sixties’ farce. Eastsider News reader Neil Wilkinson was the ALP candidate for Holt in real life. This is his story. Click here to read more.

Annemieke Mein: from craft to art

It has been a challenging and creative life for Annemieke Mein. Born in Haarlem in 1944, when Germany still occupied Holland, she and her parents migrated to Australia in 1951 and became Australian citizens in 1956 …

Annemieke’s art is unique. She combines fabric, paint and sewing threads to produce works that are realistically accurate but that also breathe with life and action, and are emotionally breath-taking for the observer. It is difficult to categorise….  To read more about Annemieke, please click here.

Elizabeth Chong – The cooking teacher

By Matilda Bowra

After Elizabeth Chong accidentally became a cooking teacher, she turned into one of our first celebrity chefs, ran a successful cooking school for 58 years and was awarded an Order of Australia for the promotion of Chinese cuisine. When I met Elizabeth and heard her story, it didn’t seem at all surprising this vibrant woman had such an illustrious career, and is still embracing opportunities for new adventures.

To read more, please click here.

Carolyn Ingvarson – ACF Peter Rawlinson award

Carolyn Ingvarson, a Boroondara resident and founding Convenor of the local climate action group, Lighter Footprints, was joint recipient of a national ACF (Australian Conservation Foundation) award in November 2021. To read more, please click here.

Arthur Tonkin hits a century

A life of faith and service

Bryan Long, chairman of Surrey Hills Uniting Church described Arthur as a man who has led a life of great faith and service.  “Arthur has been a lay preacher for more than 75 years, preaching at over 1600 services throughout Victoria….  It was his leadership of the large church youth groups in the 1950s and and ’60s that had the most impact on him personally’.

To read about Arthur and his many achievements, please click here.

Keith Rutledge

We send our congratulations to Keith Rutledge who celebrated his 100th birthday on 30 September.  Born in Albury in 1920 and a long-term resident of Ringwood, Keith has led a life marked by service to his community, love of family and been part of enormous change.

To read about Keith and his many contributions, please click here.

Nicole Evered OAM

OAM 1999: For Service to the Community, particularly Youth, through the Scouting movement.

Nicole’s life has been adventurous, fun and totally dedicated to her passions: family, community, scouting and – ‘the Dig’….

To read about Nicole, click here.

Keith Rooney OAM

Most people are delighted to receive the Order of Australia as recognition of a life’s work. For Keith the reaction was a little different. He was amazed, honoured and bewildered. As he said – it was only the start to what he intended to accomplish.

Keith was brought up by the Legacy Club so he understands how kindness and a helping hand can support families that may be struggling. He says he didn’t expect anything further from anyone as he knew he could have a good life via his own efforts – and along the way help others.

To read more, go here.

Kenneth Jacob Lyons OAM. 1924 to 2023

 Ken Lyons died on 13 March 2023, but his legacy and legend lives on. He was born on 26 September 1924 and throughout his life he worked tirelessly for others. He was inexhaustible, reasonably healthy, always ready to listen or lighten the atmosphere when needed. There was no slowing down the retired local pharmacist and World War II veteran, until he got COVID and never quite recovered.

To read more about Ken, please click here.

Ron Brooks

Ron Brooks was born in Liverpool, England in 1942 of Ukrainian/Lithuanian ‘boat people’ parents. He has a BSc, MSc and PhD in chemical and microbiological engineering.  He arrived in Australia in 1970, met a quiet Australian nurse Robbie, married in 1973 and decided to stay.

Ron joined Rotary 38 years ago, and has achieved since then.  To read more of Ron’s story, please click here.

Isabel Harkensee OAM

Although many Eastsider News readers mayn’t have come across Isabel Harkensee OAM, it’s equally true to say that many have. Apart from raising and being devoted to her five children, she was simultaneously devoted to volunteering her time and expertise to an impressive number of local organisations.  To read more about Isabel, go here.

Su Dempsey

Congratulations to Su Dempsey, a fifty-year veteran in volunteering. Her contributions to a long list of causes over many years was recognised at a presentation ceremony on Sunday 26 November 2023 at Blackburn Lakes Visitor Centre, where she received the annual CROWAG Volunteers Award for Lifetime Achievement.  to read more, go here.