Port Stephens residents have been recognised with the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours List announced on Monday for their tireless work and generosity in the fields of charity, education, health and sport.
A prolific fundraiser for more than three decades, Medowie's Robin Henderson was rewarded for service to the community through charitable initiatives, most notable the Variety Bash, in which she has been an active participant since 1987.
"I don't know how much money I have raised personally in 32 bashes, but my husband (Grahame) estimates it to be three-quarters of a million dollars helping underprivileged children around Australia," the 71-year-old grandmother said.
"When I was informed [about the OAM] I was so shocked that I cried tears of happiness. It was very humbling, but the feeling does not compare with the satisfaction I get from watching the smiles on the faces of children that we help."
In addition to her work with Variety, Robin has volunteered her time to support charities such as Pathways to Sustainability, Meals on Wheels, House With No Steps, Headstart, Life Without Barriers and Hunter Motor Muster. And all this while battling cancer.
Robin was first diagnosed with a large melanoma behind her left eye in 1987. In 2012 she was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, requiring various chemotherapy, radiation and immunotherapy treatments which continue today.
Grahame adds: "To have worked with all the charities over the years and to be inducted in the Variety Hall of Fame (2018) is an achievement in itself. To do so with life threatening cancer and all its treatment and life disturbing trials is a noble and self-sacrificing dedication to the charity work Robin so dearly loves."
Corlette's Max Cooper was presented with his OAM for service to dentistry, and to the community of Dubbo where he lived before moving to Port Stephens nearly 30 years ago.
Mr Cooper, 89, said that he was "very honoured" to be named in the Queen's Birthday honours list. "Much of the work was done some years ago and I feel privileged that they have saw fit to recognise it now," the grandfather of six said.
Mr Cooper was involved in the World Health Organisation's epidemiological field study of dental disease in Thailand, Cyprus and Syria and was appointed a WHO consultant in 1984.
He has also been involved in the investigation of dental epidemiology, was the Australian Dental Association of NSW councillor (Western Division) and has served on Dubbo City Council as councillor.
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