You only get out of life what you put in – this is something Exeter resident John Sharp has lived by.
The former member for Gilmore (1984 to 1993) and Hume (1993 to 1998), both of which covered Goulburn, is set to be recognised for a life of public service with a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).
He will receive the accolade for significant service to the people and Parliament of Australia, to the aviation industry and to the community.
The Member of the Order of Australia is for service in a particular locality or field of activity, or to a particular group.
Mr Sharp said he felt honoured to receive the award.
“It’s extremely pleasing to receive this award and to be acknowledged for my service,” he said.
Mr Sharp’s service includes 17 years as the honorary treasurer of the National Party of Australia, the Minister for transport and regional development, a member for the division of Hume and Gilmore, the deputy leader of the house and the chairman of the coalition task force on drugs.
In addition to this, he has served as the director of Airbus Group Australia Pacific, the director of Skytraders, the chairman of the Aviation Safety Foundation of Australasia, the chairman of Pel Air, the director of Eurocopter International Pacific and the director of Australian Aerospace.
Among other things, he was also the co-convenor of the Southern Highlands Branch of Relay for Life and the director and chairman of the Winifred West Schools’ Foundation.
He is currently the deputy chair of Regional Holdings Express (REX) and works for several boards and foundations.
Asked about his time representing Goulburn in federal parliament, Mr Sharp cited several aspects of which he was most proud.
"The most tangible was campaigning for the Goulburn bypass. The Hume went down the main street of Goulburn and the road was clogged. I started campaigning for that,” he said.
"(I also campaigned) to get the heated pool in Goulburn in 1993. We raised a lot of money to build the pool. I started that and got it going. It was a major facility and I think a lot of people benefited from that. There were recreational benefits and therapeutic benefits."
Mr Sharp encouraged people to follow his lead and take up a role in the community.
“We should all try to be good citizens. You can get involved with the Red Cross, your local cricket or rugby club or join Relay for Life,” he said.
“Good citizens don’t have to be in Parliament, you can contribute in other ways.”
Mr Sharp said community-minded people helped Australia advance.
“If people don’t contribute, society won’t advance,” he said.
“I’d urge everyone to participate in their communities. The reward you get is far better than what it costs.”