I commemorate a champion of the Hawkesbury Community, Mr John Miller, who has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to the Hawkesbury. It was a great honour to nominate John for this award because he has contributed much to the Hawkesbury community for nearly nine decades. John’s experience as an advocate and farmer of mushrooms deepened his interest in the management of floods across the Hawkesbury and Nepean Valley. Living through disastrous floods and feeling the impact on his own life fuelled John’s desire to improve and serve his community.
In 1965, John and his wife, Beryl, joined the local State Emergency Service branch as volunteers and worked as communications officers during the floods, keeping the community up to date and answering questions about the flood. John then spent 10 years as chief warden for the Hawkesbury State Emergency Services and is a constant advocate for the raising of the Warragamba Dam wall. While time does not allow me to describe all of John’s service to the Hawkesbury community, I pay tribute to the love and affection he holds for his wife, Beryl. John and Beryl celebrated their sixty-fifth wedding anniversary this year. There is no-one more deserving of a Medal of the Order of Australia. John is a tireless advocate for the Hawkesbury and is an icon worthy of all praise.