The often unsung heroes of communities take centre stage as part of the annual Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
This year is no exception with a number of people from in and around the Goulburn Valley being honoured across various categories, with their stories featured in today’s edition of The News.
They include Ross Wilkinson, who has been rewarded with the Emergency Services Medal for 20 years of loyal service to Shepparton Search and Rescue.
Mr Wilkinson, 58, balances a full-time job with his commitments with the service, with which he has had a number of roles.
Another is Macedonian migrant Azem Elmaz, the owner of Shepparton’s Lutfiyes Shish Kebab, who co-ordinates the People Supporting People group that runs a soup kitchen, offering a helping hand to the city’s needy and hungry.
Mr Elmaz, who has today been honoured with a Medal of the Order of Australia, says he loves Shepparton and wants to offer assistance to those who are struggling.
Mark Rumble’s vision to build a new state-of-the-art children’s hospital in Kenya, that became a reality after fundraising across the Goulburn Valley, has also been rewarded.
It is just one example of his ongoing commitment to community work that has resulted in him receiving a Medal of the Order of Australia.
Former deputy mayor of Greater Shepparton City Council Alan Charles Sutherland has received a posthumous Medal of the Order of Australia.
Mr Sutherland died in December last year, aged 81, but is renowned as a passionate advocate for his community and served on a number of community and sporting boards.
Individuals such as those being honoured today don’t give to the community to receive awards — they do it because they care.
When the plaudits do come, they are often not expecting them and are humbled by it.
In each community, there are hundreds of people just like this who work behind the scenes, often voluntarily, to make their community a better place.
Indeed today, there will be hundreds of volunteers giving up their public holiday to man Driver Reviver sites across the state to try and make the roads a safer place.
These people don’t do it for the thank yous, but don’t forget to let them know you appreciate it.