Passionate local earns top recognition

Colin Elliott has been awarded an OAM for his services to Campbelltown and the Uniting Church. Picture: Simon Bennett
Colin Elliott has been awarded an OAM for his services to Campbelltown and the Uniting Church. Picture: Simon Bennett

When Colin Elliott and his wife, Dianne, moved to Campbelltown from Sydney, it was expected to be a temporary relocation.

More than 50 years later, Mr Elliott is prouder than ever to call Macarthur home.

Over the past five decades, Mr Elliott has dedicated his life to supporting various community groups and organisations.

Now he is being recognised for his work with a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).

Mr Elliott said he felt a mixture of surprise and gratitude upon hearing he would be receiving a Queen's Birthday Honour.

"It was also a realisation that most things we achieve are the result of the efforts of many people, so a mental acknowledgement of the contributions of others," he said.

"Often, we see people's needs and are powerless to do anything about them.

"It is very satisfying when you are able to make some sort of contribution to helping people."

Mr Elliott has been the chairperson of Campbelltown Uniting Care since 2002.

He is also involved with the church's refugee support program.

"Refugee support is now the only major activity of Campbelltown Uniting Care," Mr Elliott said.

"Our refugee support program began when a young man from the troubled African country of Burundi began attending our church in 2010.

"He had spent eight years in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. His brothers were refugees in Uganda.

"As he and we became aware of the situation facing many Burundian refugees in Kampala, members of our church wanted to help.

"We were fortunate that we were able to sponsor refugee children to attend schools in Kampala, to establish a medical centre that provides free consultations to refugees, and providing funding for micro-loans to help refugees establish their own small businesses."

Mr Elliott said he loved living in Macarthur.

"Campbelltown has been a great place for our two sons to grow up, close to excellent facilities but with a rural flavour," he said.

"I enjoyed several years performing with the Campbelltown Theatre Group, my wife, Dianne, was instrumental in bringing Playgroups to Campbelltown.

"With those sorts of connections, Campbelltown quickly became home for us."

Several Macarthur residents and community representatives received Queen's Birthday Honours today, including: