The local legends who joined the Honours List
They’re the influential leaders who have worked tirelessly for their communities.
Here are the locals who made this year’s Honours List.
OAM: The late Dr Amarjit Singh More
It was incredibly moving scenes when the residents of Woolgoolga lined the streets to farewell legendary GP of more than four decades, Dr Amarjit Singh More.
Over the years, the humble family man had touched many lives - and saved them.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, residents farewelled the doctor in April by watching the procession make its way from Dr More’s home to the newly unveiled Sikh Temple.
Dr More has now posthumously been awarded an OAM for his service to medicine, and to the local and Sikh communities of Woolgoolga.
Dr More founded the Woolgoolga Medical Centre where he worked for decades.
He was a founding member of the Lions Club of Woolgoolga, and a supporter of the Woolgoolga RSL sub-branch.
Arguably one of his most grandiose accomplishments, Dr More was the driving force behind the new Sikh Temple on Hasting St, of which he played a pivotal role in its fundraising and construction.
The temple has been built on the site of the First Sikh Temple of Australia, and Dr More’s parents were involved in the build of this first temple.
A few decades later, it was realised a bigger temple would need to be constructed due to the fast growing Sikh community and following on in his parents footsteps, Dr More made this happen. It took over 20 years of planning and construction for it to become a reality.
Dr More’s passion for the community was undeniable when he spoke to the Advocate ahead of the opening.
“Foremost it is a place of worship for Sikhs but it’s more than that - it’s about bringing together individuals and communities,” he said.
“We are one, the temple belongs to all of Woolgoolga and all of Australia. Everyone is welcome irrespective of colour, creed or religion.”
Public Service Medal: Sally Bryant
When the region was hit by the devastating 2020-2021 bushfires, Legal Aid solicitor Sally Bryant undertook an incredible feat - mobilising a disaster response legal service in record time and at an unprecedented level.
Ms Bryant has been awarded a Public Service Medal for her outstanding work with Legal Aid over the last 24 years, particularly for her leadership during the bushfires.
Ms Bryant first joined the public service in 1996, and since that time she has served in the Civil Law division, managing five teams along the east coast.
In her role she has brought in new initiatives such as the Legal Aid Elder Abuse Service.
During the recent bushfires, she mobilised the Disaster Response Legal Service - co-ordinating a massive 68 civil lawyers over several months to provide holistic, trauma-informed legal services.
Under her leadership they delivered over 1,000 legal assistance services, attended 68 community recovery meetings, and reached over 2,500 residents across NSW.
She also worked tirelessly with the team to roster volunteers from across Legal Aid NSW, working with services like Justice Connect and Red Cross to deliver urgent legal services, and also provided a critical link with local councils during this period.
OAM: Graeme ‘Phil’ Crofts
He’s the driving force behind the Coffs Harbour Uniting Church’s Soup Kitchen, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg of Phil Croft’s contribution to the Coffs Harbour community.
Mr Crofts has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to the community, which includes being a soup kitchen volunteer for over 14 years.
He has had a significant presence in the local sporting community, chairing the Coffs Harbour Sports Advisory Council from 2001-2015, organising Kanga Cricket for 20 years, and volunteering with the North Coast Special Olympics Group.
A schoolteacher, Mr Crofts has volunteered with Aussie Helpers Volunteers for Isolated Students Education since 2007.
Rounding out his incredible resume, Mr Crofts was also a patrol member of the Coffs Surf Club for 15 years, was a manager with Nippers, and has volunteered as a mentor for Lions Club Youth of the Year.
Mr Crofts took home Coffs Harbour Citizen of the Year in 2017.
AM: Richard Kelloway
Richard Kelloway has been recognised for his significant service to air force organisations, and to veterans advocacy - and it cannot be doubted he has worn many hats throughout the decades.
Mr Kelloway has several titles to his name. Among these, he has been the Vice President of Air Force Association (AFA) Advocacy since 2011, and was a council member of the AFA NSW Divisional Council prior.
He founded the Veterans Centre Mid North Coast, and is currently the observer of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Ex-Service Organisation Round Table.
Mr Kelloway served as the President of the RAAF Association’s Coffs Harbour and District Branch, and was a serving officer in the RAAF for 26 years.
Among his contributions to community groups, Mr Kelloway has been a member of Lifeline Coffs Harbour, the Coffs Harbour Regional Conservatorium, and the Coffs Harbour Future Development Committee.
He also served as a volunteer range for Australian Wildlife Conservancy sanctuaries at Buckaringa and Kalamrina in SA and Newhaven in NT for four years.
OAM: Dr Anandhan Naidoo
Coming from South Africa to Australia as a young doctor in the ‘70s, Dr Anandhan Naidoo has worked tirelessly to save the lives of many Coffs Coast children.
Dr Naidoo has now been awarded an OAM for his service to paediatric medicine.
He has had a private practice in Coffs Harbour for many years, and has been a peadiatrician at Coffs Harbour hospital since 1984.
On top of this, he has been a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians since 1984, and a member of the Australian Paediatric Society.