Trio of selfless workers recognised for making a difference

ORCHARDIST Peter Darley joined a small group of outstanding individuals when he received a Vocational Excellence Award at Saturday’s Rotary district conference.

But for the second-generation apple grower and NSW Farmers vice president, representing farmers is all part of his job.

Mr Darley, Orange Aboriginal Medical Service (OAMS) chief executive officer Jamie Newman and Wagga Wagga midwifery and nursing associate professor Dr Elaine Dietsch were presented with Vocational Excellence Awards on Saturday.

The trio join just nine past recipients of the awards, handed out by Rotary District 9700 for the last four years, recognising outstanding achievements in their vocation that have made a difference at a local, national or global level.

Mr Darley said he was pleasantly surprised to receive the award, particularly as a Rotarian.

“It’s a privilege, especially for farmers,” he said.

“You don’t expect these things, you just get on with the job.

“As a farmer... looking at the big picture it is a vocation.”

Mr Newman said the nomination had caught him by surprise, but he saw the award as a reflection of the 29 OAMS staff, board and partners.

“I’m still a bit humbled by it,” he said.

“It [my job] is a vocation for me, but it is a passion working with people from all walks of life.

“Being an Aboriginal person and working in Aboriginal health, since I started in 1998 I know this is where I should be in the health precinct.”

He believed OAMS’s inclusive approach to healthcare and high standing in the community was the reason for the award.

“Because we’re community aligned and focused our values and philosophy is in line with Rotary’s,” he said.

“We’ve outgrown our own expectations. We’ve employed local people and helped build Orange as a health precinct... and by bringing people to work here we’re contributing towards the economic development of Orange as well.”

Mr Darley said it was great to see Rotary recognising people who do good work like his fellow recipients, but admitted he was embarrassed to take home the gong.

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