7 June 2024

A trip down 'nostalgia lane': Four Riverina residents receive King's Birthday Honours

| Jarryd Rowley
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Margaret has lived in Leeton her entire life and now at age 86, enjoys spending most of her time with her beloved corgis.

Margaret has lived in Leeton her entire life and now at age 86, enjoys spending most of her time with her beloved corgis. Photo: Supplied.

Four of the Riverina’s most community-minded members have had their contributions to their respective towns recognised by being named on the King’s Birthday Honour Roll.

Miss Suzanna Bulger, Mrs Margaret Sands, Mr Lance Boswell and Mr Ross Edwards, have each been honoured with the Medal of the Order of Australia for their contributions to their communities of Tumut, Leeton, Albury and Lockhart.

The four outstanding individuals are among 733 other Australians to be receiving the Order of Australia, meritorious awards and recognition of conspicuous service.

“I would like to congratulate all those recognised in today’s Honours List. Some names are well known, but the vast majority are not – they are people who work tirelessly and selflessly to make a difference in our community,” Governor-General David Hurley said.

“Through today’s recognition, we shine a light on their efforts, the impact they have and the difference they make. On behalf of all Australians, I thank recipients for their service and congratulate them on their recognition.

“The honours and awards system belongs to all Australians and, by nominating people for recognition in the Order of Australia, we all have a role to play. I have been steadfast that the Order must reflect the diversity of our community – I am pleased by the progress we have made over the last five years. For it to continue, and it must, we need people to take the time to nominate people that inspire them.”

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One of the four individuals doing the Riverina proud is Leeton local, Mrs Margaret Sands.

Mrs Sands has been a long-time contributor to the Leeton Community through her work with several musical societies, including The Leeton Theatre Organ Society and the Young Organists of Australia Society, and her contributions to the Roxy Theatre, which includes a book titled Up in Lights: 80 years of Leeton’s Roxy Community Theatre.

“My contributions to my community have been an absolute joy, but it also has been a team effort,” Mrs Sands said.

“I was born in Leeton; my grandparents were pioneers of the area in the early 1900s so Leeton has always been my home. It’s a welcoming and comfortable town and a place where I have met so many friends.

“It was such an honour to have someone nominate me for the King’s Birthday Honours; I’m so honoured but I can’t stress the amount of support I’ve received. Gradually, I’ve been recalling a few of the earlier positions and jobs that I’ve held during my life here and it has certainly been a trip down nostalgia lane.”

Mrs Sands recounted her time as a tourist officer for Rice Growers in Leeton, stating it was the best job she ever had. She took the position after her husband passed away and said it helped her meet so many wonderful people and opened the door for many voluntary positions in the Leeton community.

“Most of those voluntary positions were a team effort, and the amount of community that assisted me in all of those jobs,” she said.

“I just feel so honoured and it really is a cherry on top of the fantastic life I’ve lived here in Leeton.”

Sue Bulger has been a longtime member of the Brugle-Tumut Local Aboriginal Land Council and continues to educate people on Indigenous affairs today.

Sue Bulger (far right) has been a longtime member of the Brungle-Tumut Local Aboriginal Land Council and continues to educate people on Indigenous affairs today. Photo: Brungle-Tumut LALC.

Miss Suzanna Bulger is another outstanding individual receiving the OAM.

Like her father and her aunty before her, Miss Bulger’s work with First Nations affairs and her work as a teacher provided the Tumut community with vital education.

Miss Bulger said she was honoured to be named a Member of the Order of Australia and thanked the community members who nominated her.

“It was quite rewarding for me to hear that I was receiving the honour,” she said.

“I’m especially happy to hear that people have been affected by the things that I’ve contributed to in my roles as a CEO and former board member of Brungle-Tumut Local Aboriginal Land Council.

“I’m proud of my work with the Aboriginal Liaison Committee with Tumut Council and also being a teacher, I’m very concerned about the education of young people and I will continue to work in that space.”

Mr Lance Boswell from Albury and Mr Ross Edwards from Yerong Creek/Lockhart have also been named for their incredible work in their communities.

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