Hornsby Shire Council Mayor Philip Ruddock has been appointed an Officer the Order of Australia (AO) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
The former federal minister and Attorney General followed in the footsteps of his father when he was elected Mayor of Hornsby in 2017, a position he’s held since then.
Cr Ruddock says that of all the offices he has held through his long public career, the position of mayor is closest to his heart, and that his passion began as a boy when he watched his father Max Ruddock serve as Hornsby Shire Mayor in 1961.
Cr Ruddock said he was humbled to received the honour and paid tribute to his wife, family and father.
“My father was the shire president, and I used to be largely at his feet,” he told Government News.
“I was very much there with him when he was meeting with people and I was very focussed on the importance that he attached to this community.”
He lists his proudest achievement in local government as the the restoration of tree preservation orders, originally introduced by his father, which helped protect the shire’s unique bushland.
“The Bushland Shire is a very unique and special place and I think my father would be gratified that I am continuing his legacy,” he said.
Cr Ruddock is joined in the top honours by City of Melbourne’s deputy Mayor Arron Wood, who was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).
Cr Wood is an award-winning environmentalist who founded and runs the Kids Teaching Kids environmental program.
In 2010 his memoir Billabong Boy was released, where he recounted the difficulties he overcame to achieve success in his career.
Services to local government
Other individuals across the nation were recognised for their service to local government in the 2020 Honours List, with several also awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM), including Bulloo Shire Mayor John Ferguson, West Wimmera Shire Council Mayor Bruce Meyer, outgoing Mareeba Shire Council Mayor Tom Gilmore and Collie Shire Deputy president Ian Miffling.
Past ALGA Vice President William McArthur, former City of Whyalla Mayor Lyn Breuer, former Strathfieldsaye Shire President Ronald Alexander, former Murray Shire president Noel Nancarrow and former Diamond Valley Council president David McKenzie also took home an OAM.
Public service medal
Meanwhile 35 Australians have been awarded a public service medal in Sunday’s Honours.
Among them are public servants who have made significant contributions across a broad spectrum of public policy and administration, from disaster recovery to indigenous cultural competency and road safety.
Natalie Camilleri: As Executive Director of City Planning Infrastructure at the Greater Sydney Commission, Ms Camilleri has been instrumental in developing the Place-based Infrastructure Compact model which is being used in the development of the Western Sydney Aerotropolis.
Noelani Reardon: The road safety champion was recognised for her commitment to reducing the NSW road toll and improving safety on the state’s network. Currently she is leading the Road Safety team at Transport for NSW in projects including the Towards Zero Sydney Road Safety Project.
Lisa Strelein: Dr Strelein, executive director of research at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, was instrumental in the development of an APS-wide cultural competency training program, promoting cultural understanding as a core capability of Australian public service.
Tony Donoghue: Recognised for services to local government, the General Manager of Coolamon Shire has contributed to rural aged care facilities and developed the Up2Date Cultural Precinct in Coolamon.
Graeme Emonson: A Fellow of Local Government Professionals, Mr Emonson led reform across Victoria’s local government sector including the Rural Councils Transformation Program, and the recently passed Local Government Act 2020.
Desmond Howard: Mr Howard led and managed the integration of the Barcaldine Regional Council as CEO.
Mark Coffee: For delivering Indigenous and social policy in Northern Australia, including as head of the office of Northern Australia and Executive Director for the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory and the Alice Springs Transformation.
Cheryl Jenkins: For delivering social work programs for people affected by disasters. Ms Jenkins is the lead social worker for Services Australia’s emergency portfolio and has provide support to Australians affected by natural disasters, terrorism and drought.
Michael Barnes: The WA Under Treasurer oversaw the provision of advice that was crucial in the Commonwealth’s decision to initiate Goods and Services Tax reform in the state.
Jane Wynter: The Head of Philanthropy at the Art Gallery of NSW, Ms Wynter is recognised for enabling significant growth in the state’s art collection, including the acquisition of 1248 art works worth more than $185.5 million.
Alan Davidson: Mr Davidson is driving Service Australia’s Single Touch Welfare project and played a key role in innovating the way income information is collected and assessed for Centrelink welfare payments.
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