HONOURED: Roma's newest OAM recipient, John 'Jock' Sullivan, with his wife Vera.
HONOURED: Roma's newest OAM recipient, John 'Jock' Sullivan, with his wife Vera. Jorja McDonnell

Lifelong local recognised with Order of Australia medal

JOHN 'Jock' Sullivan has spent the better part of seven decades helping his community and in recognition of his many years of service, has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).

The news of the prestigious award came as a surprise to Jock when he was recently informed of the honour to be bestowed upon him.

"I'm very grateful for receiving it, and to the people who went to all the trouble of setting it up,” Mr Sullivan said.

"In the resume that was sent to me by the Governor-General's office, pointing out the things that I had done, there were things I had forgotten about.

"So whoever has done it has delved into my private life; everything is on there except my Masonic career, which has been going for 66 years.”

While Mr Sullivan doesn't know who put together the comprehensive list of his life achievements, the OAM has brought back fond memories of 71 years of community involvement.

"I started serving the public in 1948, becoming trustee of the Amby Hall, with an inheritance from my father,” he said.

"Later on, I served two successive terms on the Booringa Shire Council, then the Bungil Shire Council, and I'm the only one alive from both of those councils.”

Mr Sullivan was also heavily involved with the Queensland Grain Growers Association during its time, serving as a local president and then director, had a hand in establishing and building the Muckadilla Rifle Club, and broke a fundraising record for the Leukaemia Foundation when he raised $14,000 for rural patients.

The achievements which punctuate his life are heavily ingrained in the region - namely Muckadilla, Roma, and his home town of Amby - and each one presented a different and exciting challenge Mr Sullivan always took in his stride.

"I don't really know why I became involved with any of it,” he said.

"I suppose people have asked me to do something and I've done it.

"It would have been easy to say no, but I never ever said no.

"Each was a new challenge, and there were a lot of good things to have come out of them.”

Mr Sullivan is still continuing in community service as an active member of the Maranoa Freemasons, and is secretary of the Mitchell Lodge.

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