Four people awarded Order of Australia Medal

Four northern suburbs people have been awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in the Australia Day Honours List 2021 for their outstanding community service and achievements.

They are: Stephen Clark of Wyong for service to the community of the Central Coast; Barbara Try of Tuggerawong, for service to the creative arts, particularly to lapidary; Philip Heaton of Budgewoi for service to coastal landcare conservation; and, the late Kevin Pearce of Wyong for service to the community of Wyong through a range of roles.

“On behalf of all Australians, I congratulate everyone recognised in the Australia Day Honours List,” said Governor-General David Hurley at the announcement of the 845 recipients.

“The individuals we celebrate today come from all parts of our great nation and have served the community in almost every way conceivable,” he said.

“They’re diverse and unique but there are some common characteristics, including selflessness, commitment and dedication.

“Recipients have not put their hand up to be recognised.

“Most would consider the achievements that they are being recognised for to be ordinary or just what they do.

“Over the past 12 months, we have seen outstanding examples of achievement and service to the community … and I encourage Australians to look to the Order of Australia as a means of acknowledging the important work of their peers.

“The Order of Australia belongs to all Australians and my strong message to the community is that if you know someone that is worthy, take the time to nominate them.

“It is a wonderful way to recognise and celebrate achievement, service and contribution to the community.

“The sum of these contributions speaks to our nation’s greatest strength, its people,” the Governor-General said.

Anyone can nominate any Australian for an award in the Order of Australia and if you know someone worthy nominate them at

The late Kevin Pearce recognised for his service to the community

2021 will go down in family history as one of the most auspicious for Mrs Nola Pearce, not only because it is to be her 50th wedding anniversary in March, but also because her late husband, Kevin, has been posthumously awarded the Order of Australia Medal in the Australia Day Honours List.

The late Kevin Pearce

“I just wish Kevin had’ve known about it, that would have been nice, and it is very well deserved,” she said.

Kevin Pearce, who passed in May 2019, was recognised for his service to the community of Wyong through a range of roles.

“He was really entrenched in community life in the Wyong area and he was well respected, not only through his career in law, but also on a personal level,” Nola Pearce said.

“I’m very proud of him and he would always go out of his way to help other people, never thinking of himself first.”

Pearce received a rarely given Rotary Club award, the Paul Harris Award for community service and was named Citizen of the Year, Wyong Shire Council in 2001.

He was Chairman of Wyong Rugby League Club Group from 2014 to 2019, a Board member in the 1980s through to 2019, and became a Life Member in 2019.

Other community work included: Vice Chair and Member of Wyong Race Club (formerly Wyong District Agricultural Association) for 20 years; Chair of Wyong Roos’ Foundation 2017-2019; Member of Men of League Charity, Tuggerah Lakes; and, Member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board Wyong.

In his legal career, including Clerk of Petty Sessions at Wyong Court and then going on to study law, Pearce became President of Central Coast Regional Law Society 1991; he established the Traffic Offenders Program, Local Court Wyong in 1986; established the Community Aid Panel Local Court Wyong in 1987; and, was a Director at Aubrey Brown Lawyers from 1980 to 2019.

Philip Heaton awarded OAM for service to coastal land care conservation

Philip Heaton of Budgewoi sees his award of the Order of Australia Medal in the Australia Day Honours List as positive recognition of the importance of caring for the environment.

Heaton was awarded the OAM for service to coastal landcare conservation and specifically for Budgewoi Beach Dunecare.

He started the Dunecare group in 1995 and has since been its Chairman and President.

Heaton is also: a member of the Central Coast Environmental Council, Landcare Australia, from 1996 to 2002; the Tuggerah Lakes Estuary Management Committee in 2001; as well as a contributor to the Coastal Dune Management Manual, NSW Department of Land and Water.

Philip Heaton

Also, he was President of the former Budgewoi Precinct Committee.

“It was an incredibly great shock to see that people had put the effort into nominating me, and what a lovely thought people have, it really invigorates you,” Heaton said.

“It’s such a positive thing that people have made such an effort to have you recognised.

“You go along with your head down and you don’t expect anything like this.

“This is such a positive thing because actually the environment doesn’t get the best rap a lot of the time and sometimes you can think that its being put aside.

“Not only that, but the people who decide whether you should receive an honour like this, they also must place some value on our environment and the work that we do,” Heaton said.

Barbara Try recognised for her service to creative arts, particularly lapidary

Barbara Try of Tuggerawong has been recognised for her service to creative arts, particularly lapidary, with the award of the Order of Australia Medal in the Australia Day Honours List.

Barbara Try

“I feel very humbled because this is my passion, and has been for 40-odd years, I love doing it, I love teaching it and I love passing on my knowledge to anyone else who wants to learn,” she said.

“Lapidary is the art and craft of cutting gemstones and we go fossicking for the gemstones all over Australia and it’s not just the main gems like sapphires and rubies, we go fossicking for agates, petrified wood.

“There are so many aspects to this craft … not just cutting gemstones or shaping them, but there’s jewellery involved, enamelling and setting the stones, wearing them and getting the benefit of something you’ve found and you’ve created,” Try said.

She is the Vice-President of the Australian Federation of Lapidary and Allied Crafts as well as Chair of the Judging and Rules Committee and National Judge Training Co-ordinator.

Try has been Co-ordinator of updating the Judging and Rules Manual since 2015 and is a judge of competitions in the craft of cabochon, faceting, metal craft, jewellery and enamelling.

On three occasions, Try has been Australian Lapidary Champion.

She also is the President, State Judging Training Co-ordinator and Competition Organiser for the Gem and Lapidary Council of NSW.

For four terms, Try has served as President of Northern Districts Lapidary Club, has served on the Executive Committee for 30 years, and is a Life Member.

She also is a member of the Central Coast Lapidary Club and teaches the craft at Ourimbah.

Order of Australia brings Stephen Clark tears of joy

Wyong resident, Stephen Clark, who has been the Australian Champion of Champions Town Crier five times, has now be honoured with an Order of Australia Medal in the Australia Day Honours List.

He has been recognised for his service to the Central Coast through a range community roles.

“I feel pretty special, it was a lovely surprise,” he said.

“It’s been a real honour to represent the Central Coast and Australia at national and international Town Crier events and competitions,” he said.

Clark was trained as a Town Crier by the official Sydney Town Crier, Graham Keating, and became the Gosford City Council Town Crier in 1990.

“As Town Crier, I lead street parades, do citizenship ceremonies, host and MC special events, and also greet VIPs when they come to the Central Coast,” Clark said.

“It’s my job to sound a fanfare on the bugle when VIPs arrive, ring the bell, then read of proclamation of welcome.”

Clark is member of the Ancient and Honourable Guild of Australian Town Criers, currently holding the Membership Officer role, and was Chaplain from 2003 to 2005, President 2007-2010 and then again from 2013 to 2016.

He has been Champion of Champions Crier in the Australian National Town Criers Championships in 2012, 2013, 2016, 2018 and 2019.

In 2005 Clark took third place in the World Town Crying Championships.

Other roles have included Governor and Member of St Philip’s Christian College Foundation Board member since 2015 and Principal’s Advisory Council Member in Gosford since 2010.

He has been a Church Elder since 2008 at House of Praise Christian Church, West Gosford, and has taken on roles as Head of Creative Team 2008-2109 and Facilitator of the Divorce Recovery Program since 2008.

At Good News Church (now Hope Unlimited Church) at Umina Beach he had been a Church Elder and music director from 1995 to 2008.

Other community roles held by Clark include judge of the Youth of the Year at Wyoming East Gosford Centennial Lions Club in 2011; Minstrel to the City of Coffs Harbour in 1990; member of the NSW Justices Association since 1984 and NSW Justice of the Peace since 1984.

Clark has been awarded the former Gosford City Council Australia Day Award in 2003 and again in 2007, a Centenary Medal in 2001 and a Gosford Council Community Service Award in 1997.

Sue Murray