Premier of NSW, Gladys Berejiklian and Member for Goulburn, Wendy Tuckerman presented four NSW Government Awards for Recognition of contribution to community service at a private ceremony yesterday.

Mrs Tuckerman surprised Gavin Douglas, Richard Lane, David Stimson and John Klepczarek with the presentation of their awards from the NSW Premier – 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.

“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,” Mrs Tuckerman said.

The NSW Government Community Service Award recognises individuals in NSW who have substantially helped to improve the quality of life of members of their community. This is beyond what would reasonably be expected in their usual occupation.

More information is available here:

Gavin Douglas, Gunning
Mr Douglas has shown great dedication to the improvement and service to his local community in Gunning, the Upper Lachlan Shire and wider region. Working closely with a number of organisations locally including Council, non-government associations, the State and local business, towards new
infrastructure and improved services. Gunning has only seen improvement towards the fantastic community it is today thanks to Mr Gavin Douglas. He has been involved in the Gunning District Association who have 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.

Richard Lane, Moss Vale
Mr Lane 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 but also assists students in music and production elements of performance. 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, Southern Highlands RFS
David is the District Officer and currently acting as Coordinator for the Southern Highlands Rural Fire Service NSW. During the summer bushfires David was the Community Liaison Officer for the local RFS teams battling the fires. David extensively prepared the community and informed all residents of the impending fires and action required. Due to Mr Stimson’s terrific organisation and communication skills our 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.

John Klepczarek, Chief Inspector NSW Police
John was also instrumental in preparing and information the community of the impending fires. He led and coordinated the services deployment and ensured that both the service people on the ground and the public to be better informed and prepared. John also was 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.