Two men who generously volunteer their time to their communities and two senior emergency manager have been honoured for their service.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian presented the awards to Gavin Douglas, Richard Lane, David Stimson and John Klepczarek at a private ceremony in Goulburn on Tuesday.
The Premier was in town to tour the Goulburn Base Hospital redevelopment and open the city's new ambulance station.
Goulburn MP Wendy Tuckerman surprised the men with the presentation, prearranged under the guise of an informal lunch to thank them for their contributions.
"It is a pleasure to be here today to recognise the community spirit, hard work and dedication to our local community by these four individuals," she said.
"We don't need to be told again how tough the last 12 months have been - Gavin, Richard, David and John have all made significant distinct contributions to the Goulburn electorate in so many ways to make the world a better place. Thank you - from the entire community."
The NSW Government Community Service Award recognises individuals in the state who have substantially helped to improve the quality of life in their communities. This is beyond what would reasonably be expected in their usual occupation.
Mr Douglas was recognised for his "great dedication" to Gunning, the Upper Lachlan Shire and wider region.
He has worked closely with a number of organisations locally, including the council, non-government associations, the State and local business, towards new infrastructure and improved services. He has been involved in the Gunning District Association which has made a number of improvements to the village in recent years.
Mr Douglas was intrinsic to establishment of the Youth Worker Social Inclusion Pilot, arranging youth events, advocacy for the Gunning Health Service and more community issues. He is an RFS volunteer and during the height of COVID, distributed support packs to vulnerable people and families in the region.
Mr Lane, from Moss Vale, is an active member of the Southern Highlands community who dedicates a considerable amount of time, energy and money to ensuring all children in the region have access to pursue singing.
He has shared his passion for music by founding the Wingecarribee Vocal Muster to find, support and encourage emerging young vocal talent by giving them the opportunity to perform for donated prizes, including cash and music tuition.
The program also extends beyond vocal performance and assists students in music and production. The Vocal Muster connects with business and non-government associations to make entertainment accessible throughout the community including free events and, during the peak of COVID, with a virtual concert for aged care homes.
Inspector David Stimson
Mr Stimson is the district officer and currently acting as coordinator for the Southern Highlands Rural Fire Service NSW. During the summer bushfires he was the community liaison officer for the local RFS teams battling the blazes.
He extensively prepared the community and informed all residents of the impending fires and action required. Mrs Tuckerman said due to Mr Stimson's terrific organisation and communication skills the community was ultimately much better prepared.
"His work and dedication during this time was outstanding and there is no doubt that the several meetings he held saved lives and homes," she said.
Chief Inspector John Klepczarek
The NSW Police Chief Inspector, was also instrumental in preparing and informing the community of the impending fires.
He led and coordinated the service's deployment and ensured that personnel on the ground and the public were better informed and prepared.
Mrs Tuckerman said Chief Inspector Klepczarek was also proactive in consultation, planning and response to the fires, managing the coordinated response from all government and non-government services during the emergency.
"His proactive nature and unvarying ability to work with agencies and the wider community was a huge asset in coordinating plans and response. His effort undoubtedly saved life, possessions and property across the region," she said.
Chief Inspector Klepczarek is the officer in charge at Southern Highlands. In June he was also awarded a Police Medal.
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