ozFar North Coast residents have been honoured in Australia Day awards.

Award recipients include Anne Marie Sinclair, of Grafton; Ronald Frederick Johansen, of Murwillumbah; Debby Cox, of Grafton; the late Bernard Michael Barron, of Grafton; Professor David Vincent Cody, of Lismore; Scott Hanckel, of Casino; Brian Pezzutti, of Lismore; Richard Dumbrell, of Newrybar; Kingscliff swimmer Lara Davenport; and Bryan John Daly, Grafton.

The award recipients and their achievements:

Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) General Division


For service to the community as a volunteer, particularly through the Grafton Uniting Church.

Volunteer Manager, The Whitehouse Coffee Shop, Grafton Uniting Church, since 1996; providing ‘Tea Rooms’, co-ordinating functions, and catering for church groups, individuals and community groups.

Manages up to 20 volunteers involving training, rosters, and Wwork for the Dole helpers.

Prepares and delivers meals to The Sunshine Club; a day program for the elderly.

Volunteer, The Whitehouse Second Hand Wares Shop, since 1996; providing financial support for the Church.

Volunteer, The Whitehouse Furniture Shop since 1996; manages the Furniture Shop; attends auctions and garage sales selecting furniture for re-sale; arranges delivery of goods to the Church and then to buyer’s residence; all profits are put back into the Church to support a full-time minister, Special Religious Education teachers at Grafton High School and Grafton South High School, a missionary/teacher in Papua New Guinea, and a missionary in the Ukraine.

President, Canteen Committee, Westlawn Public School, 1978-1986; also served as Secretary.

President, Ladies Auxiliary, Westlawn Public School.

President, Ladies Auxiliary, Grafton High School.

Life Member and Patron, Westlawn Parents’ and Citizens’ Association.

Award/recognition include:

Good Neighbour Award 2004.

Paul Harris Fellow, Rotary International, 2007.

Ms Lara Shiree DAVENPORT, Kingscliff NSW

For service to sport as a Gold Medallist at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

Ms Davenport won a Gold Medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in swimming in the Women’s 4 x 200 metres Freestyle Relay.

She represented Australia in an exemplary manner and brought great credit to herself, the Australian team and the nation.

Mr Ronald Frederick JOHANSEN,

83 Minnows Road, Fernvale, Murwillumbah NSW 2484

For service to the Murwillumbah Historical Society, and to the community through a range of organisations.

President, Murwillumbah Historical Society, since 1992; Life Member, 2007.

Current supporter, Friends of the Tweed River Regional Museum.

Author of many historical books including Tales of Our Times: a 12-volume series recording the history of the Tweed Valley.

Current Foundation Member, Tweed River Regional Museum Foundation.

Current Member, Tweed River Regional Museum Advisory Committee.

Trustee, Murwillumbah Showground Trust, since 1991; Member, for many years; Life Member, 1992.

Member, Tweed River Agricultural Show Society, for over 40 years; Vice-President; Board Member, 1972-1995; Life Member.

Member, Murwillumbah Sub-Branch of the Returned and Services League of Australia, for many years.

Current Member, Murwillumbah and District Tourist Association; Past President.

Current Member, Fernvale Progress Association.

Former Member, Stokers Siding Community Halls.

Former Captain, Murwillumbah Bush Fire Brigade, for 25 years.

Former President, Probus Club of Murwillumbah.

Awards/recognition include:

Certificate of Achievement, Royal Australian Historical Society, 2007.

Mr Bernard Michael BARRON, deceased,

Late of Grafton NSW 2460

For service to the community of the Grafton region through contributions to a range of youth, sporting and service organisations, particularly Lions International.

Served as Zone Chairman, Lions International District 201N1; former Regional Chairman, and Chairman, District Convention.

Lioness Chairman.

Coordinator of Kids Camp and State Youth of the Year Final.

President, Grafton Lions Club; Board Member.

Former Member, Pittswater Lions Club, Qld.

Coordinator for Christmas presents and Santa Claus, St Joseph’s Cowper Children’s Home.

President, Grafton Bowling Club.

Patron, Grafton Amateur Swimming and Life Saving Club.

Area Chairman, National Heart Foundation.

Chairman, Clarence Valley Transport Committee.

Member,  Grafton Base Hospital Committee.

Member, Grafton Police Community Council.

Member, Grafton Access Committee.

Warden, St Mary’s Catholic Church.

Awards/recognition include:

Melvin Jones Fellow, Lions International, 2003; Lions Hall of Fame Fellow, 2008.

Paul Harris Fewllow, Rotary, 2007.

Grafton Citizen of the Year, 1981; and Guest of Honour at Grafton Jacaranda Festival.

Mr Barron died on 19 July 2008.

Adjunct Professor David Vincent CODY,

Lismore NSW 2480

For service to medicine, particularly in the fields of cardiology and cardiac rehabilitation.

Visiting Cardiologist, Lismore Base Hospital, since 1989; Chair, Department of Medicine,
mid 1990s.

Adjunct Professor, Southern Cross University, School of Exercise Science, since 1998.

Former Chairman, Department of Cardiac Services and Cardiac Surgery, John Flynn Private Hospital, Queensland; Founder and Director, Cardiac Catheter Laboratory.

Teacher, Sydney University, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Westmead Hospital; also postgraduate candidates for Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of Physicians.

Appointed Foundation Director of Clinical Training, University of Newcastle; also student examiner, Barrier Medical Examination, early 1990s.

Former Member, Medical Advisory Programming Committee, Northern Rivers Area Health Service; Member, Clinical Advisory Group.

Director, Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, Westmead Hospital, 1980s.

Associate Cardiologist, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and the Holstrom Institute of Cardiology, mid 1980s.

Part-time Director, National Heart Foundation Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, 1978.

Visiting Cardiologist, Westmead Hospital, 1978-late 1980s.

Chair, Rehabilitation, Exercise and Prevention Council, Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand, 1988-1989 and since 1998.

Member, Education Committee and Exercise Rehabilitation Committee, NSW Division of the Heart Foundation.

Member, NSW Division Heart Foundation, 2002.

Former Member, Heart Failure Committee, Northern Rivers Area Health Service.

Deputy Chancellor, Southern Cross University, since 2006; Deputy Chair and Member, University’s Council, since 2000; Member of Finance, Appeals, Honorary Awards, Nominations, Remunerations, Risk Management (Chair) committees; Member, Human Experimentation and Ethics Committee, since 1991.

Member (AM) in the general division of the Order of Australia

Ms Deborah (Debby) COX, Grafton NSW 2460

For service to the international community, particularly the conservation, protection, research and care of primates through the Jane Goodall Institute in Uganda and as a contributor to the establishment of the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance.

Executive Director, Jane Goodall Institute, Uganda, since 1996; Co-Director, 1994-1996; volunteer, 1993; Snare Removal and Education Program, Kibale National Park.

Adviser, Ugandan Wildlife Education Centre, since 1996.

Founding Member, Pan African Sanctuary Alliance, since 2000; includes over 16 sanctuaries throughout Africa supporting conservation of primates and education regarding primates.

Project Director, Chimpanzee Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Trust and Sanctuary, Ngamba Island, Uganda; Inaugural Director, 1996-2004.

Zoo keeper and Supervisor, Primates Section, Taronga Conservation Society Australia, 1986-1993; Supervisor.

Member, Australian Conservation Training Institute; Director of African Programs in partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute, 1995.

Coordinator Taronga Zoo Mountain Gorilla program.

Current Member, International Primatological Society; played a major role in organising the Society’s 21st Congress in Uganda, 2006.

Supporter, Mgahinga Community Development Organisation; sponsoring children’s school fees.

Mr Richard DUMBRELL, Newrybar NSW 2479

For service to the development of the Australian oil and gas exploration and drilling industries and to the petroleum engineering profession.

Non-Executive Director, Australian Worldwide Exploration Ltd, 1997-2006; Chairman, Audit Committee; Chairman, Operations Risk Committee.

Technical Adviser, School of Petroleum Engineering, University of New South Wales,

Founder and Executive Chairman, Century Drilling, 1985-1993; Chairman, 1993-1997.

Executive Chairman, Oil Drilling and Exploration Ltd, 1980-1985; 30 years with company, 1955-1985.

Director, Australian Mines and Metals Association, 1984-1997.

Inaugural Chairman, Society of Petroleum Engineers, NSW-ACT Section, 1983-1984; Distinguished Member, 1994.

Inaugural President, Australian Petroleum Exploration Association Professional Division, New South Wales (now Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia – PESA), 1967-1968; Federal President, 1969-1970; Distinguished Member, 1986.

Awards include:

Gold Medal, Australian Petroleum Exploration Association, 1991.


Mr Scott HANCKEL, Casino NSW 2470

Mr Hanckel joined the NSW State Emergency Service (SES) in 1998 as the Division Controller at Lachlan Division in Parkes, after extensive service with the Australian Army.

When he joined the SES, the position of Division Controller had previously been a volunteer position and the transfer of this role to paid employment was in its infancy.

Due to budget constraints the role was initially established on a part-time basis. Nevertheless, Mr Hanckel set about establishing himself into the position and forging its vital role in the leadership and development of the SES Volunteer Controllers and their units.

His performance as Division Controller was both pivotal to the development of the SES’s capability in the Lachlan Division and, more strategically, for the ongoing development of the Division Controller program.

In 2000 he transferred to the Richmond-Tweed Region and, over the past eight years, his knowledge, skills and experience as a leader and emergency manager have been integral to the SES’s capacity to manage many large-scale natural disasters that have impacted on the North Coast communities.

Aside from his exemplary leadership and management, Mr Hanckel has contributed greatly to many SES programs, most notably its Exercise Management Capacity, Flood Rescue capability and the development of Doctrinal Foundations.


Brigadier Brian Patrick PEZZUTTI RFD, Lismore, NSW

For outstanding achievement as a specialist anaesthetist and adviser to the Defence Health Services Division.

Brigadier Pezzutti’s performance has been exceptional.

His enthusiasm, skill and commitment are of the highest calibre. By his actions and policy initiatives on a wide range of topics, he has enabled the recruitment of anaesthetists and health personnel to the Australian Defence Force.

His experience and dedication have been vital to the success of humanitarian assistance missions.

Brigadier Pezzutti’s performance is in keeping with the finest traditions of the Australian Army and the Australian Defence Force.


Mr Bryan John DALY, Grafton NSW 2460

Mr Daly joined the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) in 1981 as a volunteer member of the Mallanganee Rural Fire Brigade.

In 1995 he was appointed as Fire Control Officer, Kyogle District, and continued to rise through the ranks to his current position of Regional Operations Manager.

Throughout his distinguished service he has made a significant contribution to the RFS through his outstanding leadership and mentoring qualities and commitment to volunteer training and operational preparedness, exemplified by his commitment to the annual Region North Exercise.

He is a Founding Member of the Exercise and has been the Committee’s Chairman for the past eight years.

The Exercise is an operational evaluation of the out-of-area capabilities of the Districts/Zones within Region North and inter alia introduces crews to the specialist responsibilities of other emergency agencies and provides an opportunity to operate with those agencies.

Mr Daly has also been involved in interstate responses, most recently as the RFS’s Coordinator to assist his South Australian counterparts with the Kangaroo Island bushfire emergency.

He has also played a pivotal role in the development and implementation of major incident management systems and policy that assists with such deployments.

His outstanding leadership, dedication, commitment and achievement have gone a long way to making the volunteers and staff in Region North a much more highly trained, professionally skilled and prepared emergency service.