Honours for aged care heroes

Almost 500 people were honored in the General Division of the Order of Australia on Monday.

Farag Gobran – honorary director and founding chair of residential and home care provider St Maurice Aged Care – has been awarded a Medal of Order (OAM) “for services to youth, to aged welfare, and to the Egyptian community.”

A pharmacist since 1970, Mr Gobran became founding chair of the faith-based provider – which serves the Coptic community across Sydney – in 2009.

There are 493 people honoured in the General Division of the Order of Australia in the King’s Birthday Honours List announced by the Governor-General on Monday.

Former vice-chairman of residential aged care provider Crookwell Frail Aged Association Richard Kennedy has also been awarded an OAM “for service to the community of Crookwell” – a small town located in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales. Mr Kennedy was vice chairman of Crookwell Frail Aged Association for a decade, between 1998 and 2008. He joined the board of the nursing home operator in 1992. Mr Kennedy is also a former chairman of the organisation’s accreditation and personnel committees, and a former member of its resident admissions and resident dispute committees.

Joy Nugent has been awarded an OAM “for service to nursing, particularly palliative care.” Ms Nugent is director and founder of charity organisation Soul Talks, which exists to remove death anxiety and promote living wills. A registered nurse, Ms Nugent is also co-founder and honorary life member of the Mary Potter Foundation, a South Australia-based organisation which provides end-of-life care. Ms Nugent has written numerous books on end-of-life care, the latest – As Good as Goodbyes Get – was published in 2017.

An OAM has been awarded to Ruth Rae “for services to the community of Somerville.” Ms Rae has held various roles over three decades at St John’s Retirement Village in Somerville in the Mornington Peninsula region of Victoria. Ms Rae was one of the organisation’s inaugural board members, a position she held for 32 years – from 1977 to 2009. Ms Rae is currently a member of St John’s residents association.

Colin Rathbone has been awarded an OAM “for service to the community of Kiama.” Mr Rathbone has been a member of the Friends of Blue Haven Aged Care Facility since 2011 and was the organisation’s secretary from 2012 to 2022.  

Nanette Sharp received an OAM “for service to the community of southern Adelaide.” Ms Sharp is the founder and former president of Friends of Allambi – a nursing home operated by Eldercare in the Adelaide suburb of Glengowrie. Ms Sharp has also been volunteering at the facility since 2013.

An OAM has been awarded to Anne Tunks “for service to community health, particularly dementia support.” Ms Tunks was a senior educator at Alzheimer’s Australia – NSW from 2007 to 2008. She was also the coordinator of the organisation’s group development unit from 2005 to 2006.

Lesley Woolf has been awarded an OAM “for service to Indigenous health, and to rural and remote nursing.” Ms Woolf has been executive health manager – health, aged care and community services at the Mala’la Health Service Aboriginal Corporation in the Northern Territory since 2023. Previously, Ms Woolf was the organisation’s manager of health and community services.

Meanwhile, Margaret Allison has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) “for significant service to public administration, and to the community.” Ms Allison served as director-general at the Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care for the New South Wales Government between 2001 and 2004.

Sister Isobel Moran has also been appointed an AM “for significant service to medicine, and to the church.” Ms Moran has held various roles at residential, home care and retirement living provider Catholic Healthcare including national board member and steering committee member.

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Tags: Anne Tunks, Colin Rathbone, Farag Gobran, Isobel Moran, Joy Nugent, King's Birthday Honours List, Lesley Woolf, Margaret Allison, Nanette Sharp, Richard Kennedy, Ruth Rae,

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