Australia Day Honours

By Bev Jordan

The founder and organiser of the Scrapheap Adventure Ride, Perry Gilsenan, says his OAM is for everyone involved in the popular annual event which raises money and awareness for Down Syndrome Australia.

“I am very humbled. It is really an award for everyone involved and the Down Syndrome community.”

Perry from Baulkham Hills has loved motorbikes all his life and was chatting on an online forum with other enthusiasts about riding old bikes rescued from the scrapheap when the Scrapheap Adventure idea blossomed.

The first ride to Wanaaring, west of Bourke was completed by 14 riders and raised $22,000 for Down Syndrome Australia.

“My first daughter Grace was born in 2003 with Down Syndrome and my wife found Down Syndrome Australia just a fantastic help with all their resources and help they offered,” he said.

The tenth anniversary ride to Evans Head attracted 130 riders. So far the annual event has raised in excess of $800,000 for the Down Syndrome community.

Perry says the idea is to purchase an old bike for under $1000, do it up and ride from your home to the Scrapheap event. Last year’s ride was cancelled due to COVID but this year’s event is being planned for October.

“It’s a wonderful community,” says Perry. “We do raise money but it’s about raising awareness. It’s about celebrating Down syndrome.”

Perry says he has had a blessed life. It is certainly a remarkable life. Perry lost both of his legs at the age of 12 after he fell getting off a train at Strathfield on his way to school and fell between the platform. At the age of 25 he nearly died in a car accident but he has always had a positive attitude.

He says he has been humbled by the huge response and support he has received from the community since his OAM was announced. “It has been very humbling.”

Frank Deane Oam H2H Jan 29 Australia Day HonoursFRANK DEANE OAM
Chair of Forsight Australia Frank Deane is humbled by his OAM, announced in the Australia Day Honours List. “I have a simply philosophy,” he told the Hills to Hawkesbury Community News, “If you don’t contribute to your community, society fails.”

It’s a philosophy that the Castle Hill resident and his wife of 53 years Pam have passed on to their four children and 10 grandchildren.

The 75-year-old retired solicitor joined the Board of Forsight Australia in 2004. He became involved with the Forsight organisation as member of the Rotary Club of Carlingford when the club was raising money to build the charity’s first Supported Independent Living group home in Pennant Rd Carlingford.

He was asked to join the Board in 2004. He has been chair since 2014 and has seen the organisation develop to provide homes for 71 residents across 15 homes.

A new Forsight home is soon to be built in Blacktown. His community involvement has also embraced volunteering with the Northern Barbarian Rugby Club where he has been a member since 1979 and Patron since 1991, the Rotary Club of Carlingford for 23 years until 2004, a member of the NSW Masonic Club for over 30 years and a Life member of the Probus Club of Carlingford/North Rocks and The Buccaneers.

Volunteering and education have been a major part of Lynn McCrindle’s life.

The Pennant Hills resident was awarded her OAM for service to children and to eduction.

A teacher from 1979, she was a tutor and also on the Board of the Pacific Hills Christian School until 2018.

She has been a volunteer with Christian Mission International Aid and is on the International Management Committee.

Mrs McCrindle has been a volunteer with the West Pennant Hills Community Church for over 50 years and has been a volunteer with the Crossroads program since 1996.

David Rosenberg Oam Australia Day HonoursDAVID ROSENBERG OAM
At the age of 89 David Rosenberg’s working life has been spent in publishing. Even after he retired, he returned to publishing, setting up Rosenberg Publishing at his Kenthurst home with his Scilla eight years ago. The couple travelled after selling Kangaroo Press, which they founded and ran for 20 years, returning to set up Rosenberg Publishing in 2002.

“David called it his retirement hobby,” said Scilla. Far from being a hobby the couple published on average 12 non-fiction books a year.

Last year it was two titles: The Making of Warriors by Graham J Smith and Bush Remedies by Cheryll Williams. When they ran Kangaroo Press in Kenthurst they published around 1000 non-fiction books covering Australian history and biography, military and maritime history, sport, craft, agricultural history, craft, radio pioneers, gardening, railways and Aboriginal affairs.

Many filled gaps in the historical record. He became well known for publishing books major publishers wouldn’t touch and many were reprinted. Cheryll Williams’ 4-volume Medicinal Plants in Australia, are considered major contributions to botanical studies and Jan Barkley- Jack’s book Hawkesbury Settlement Revealed is another major work published by Rosenberg.

He grew up in Grimsby in the UK and won a scholarship to study at Oxford. After graduating he took a job at Oxford University Press and then travelled and worked in India for a UK publisher. Work took him all over Asia and when he visited Australia he decided to make it his home and secured a job with British publisher Thomas Nelson to set up their Australian operations.

The couple’s three children and five grandchildren were thrilled by their father’s OAM.

Rita Little, a trailblazer who adored her jack Russell terriers, has been awarded a Medal of the Order (OAM) for her long service to animal welfare and canine breeding clubs.

The much-loved Kellyville grandmother died of acute myeloid leukaemia on February 13, 2020, aged 85, leaving behind a vast legacy in NSW, Australia and overseas, where she regularly travelled in her capacity as a dog show judge and speaker.

Ms Little led a very active and interesting life, once driving a MG with her first husband, Charles, from Singapore to London in the late ‘50s.

Belinda Francis, remembers a wonderful woman who gave a lot back to the community.

“My mother-in-law was an incredible woman and was the sunshine in our lives.

“The family is absolutely delighted she has received this honour because she was a wonderful woman who was very involved with the community.”

Ms Little founded her dog breeding operation, Carisbrooke Kennels, in 1974. She served on the committees of the British Terrier Club of NSW and Jack Russell Terrier Club of NSW, was co-founder of the Jack Terrier Race Days in 1982 and worked with the Australian National Kennel Council. She was a volunteer at the Castle Hill Show Society for 12 years and authored a book on the terrier breeds.

Her last overseas trip was in 2019 when she was a judge at an international show in Italy. She is survived by her children, Martin and his wife Alison and granddaughters Kate and Elena and son James and his wife Belinda and their children, Callum and Darcy.

Carlingford resident Geoff Scott’s involvement in education spans over 55 years and includes seven years as President of the NSW Primary Principals’ Association.

He was named in the Australia day Honours’ List for service to education and to professional associations.

Mr Scott’s career as a teacher began in 1964 after he graduated as a Primary School teacher.

In 1983, he became a Primary School Principal before retiring in 2016.

He is a Life Member of the NSWPPA and is currently a principal support officer.

He is also a Life Member of the Australian Government Primary Principals’ Association and the Australian Primary Principals’ Association and has held several executive roles. He is a member of the National Advisory Council.


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