A HUMBLE man committed to making a difference in his local community has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday 2012 Honours List.
Cabonne Council general manager Graeme Fleming was awarded the Public Service Medal for outstanding service in his role with the council.
“It’s very, very humbling to tell the truth, it’s something that came out of the blue,” he said.
“It doesn’t happen that often and I’m very surprised and humble. I never expected it, I do what I do because I love it.”
Over his 39-year career in local government Mr Fleming served at seven different councils.
At just 28 he was Barraba Council general manager and the state’s youngest council general manager.
At 32 he became Cabonne Council general manager and said since then he has focused on achieving results for residents.
Teamwork is an important part of his role with council, according to Mr Fleming.
“I really want to emphasise what I do is only part of a team and from a council perspective you need a good team of staff who work with the community,” he said.
Mr Fleming said he is the longest serving general manager in any of the central west councils and this has been vital in achieving results for the Cabonne community.
“The benefit has been I’ve been able to put long-term plans in place ... when you’re only there a short time you can’t do that,” he said.
Among notable projects under his leadership have been the timber bridge replacement program, the Waluwin Community Centre at Molong and increased spending on roadworks.
“We [Cabonne Council] were technically bankrupt when I started and now we’re one of the most viable councils,” he said.
With his retirement from council coming up on August 3 this year, Mr Fleming said he had enjoyed helping to make a difference.
“It’s very satisfying, particularly when the community and council work together,” he said.
“When that happens there’s not much you can’t achieve.”
Mr Fleming was one of 540 individuals to be recognised in the Queen’s Birthday 2012 Honours List for their work in public service.