Tenterfield High School ag teacher Phil Jones and Tenterfield mayor Peter Petty have been awarded prestigious NSW Premier’s Awards in a surprise announcement at the Tenterfield Show.
Member for Lismore Thomas George was invited by the Tenterfield Show Society to officially open the show on Saturday afternoon. It was one of his final official duties as he wraps up his term of office before retiring at the next state election.
After duly opening the show he proceeded to announce the Premier’s Awards to some very surprised recipients. Mr Jones had no idea any such proceedings were underway. Mr Petty thought his involvement ended with ensuring his friend Mr Jones was on hand.
The NSW Premier’s Awards for Public Service recognise outstanding individuals (and team performance) in public service delivery to the NSW community.
Mr Jones’ citation read that he has a passion for his home town and community.
“Phil is a teacher at Tenterfield High School, providing every student he works with equal opportunity to succeed, and is always prepared to go the extra mile to help anyone that needs it.
“Phil is dedicated to the agricultural program at the school, which has developed over the years with now one-third of students taking the subject.”
The citation went on to say that Mr Jones was instrumental in gaining support for the construction of a new shearing shed to teach shearing. He has also run the Man vs Wild program, taking disadvantaged years 7-11 boys away.
Mr Jones has also been involved with the Tenterfield Tigers rugby league team and last year helped re-established the Tenterfield Bumblebees rugby union club.
Mr Petty was recognised for also being a long-serving volunteer in the local community, including Tenterfield Pony Club, Show Society, Showground Trust, Campdraft Club and Campdraft Association.
“Peter has been the driving force, including organising fundraising events, to rebuild/repair and maintain the many historic buildings and build new buildings and yards throughout the showgrounds over the years,” his citation read.
He was the instigator of celebrations to mark 120 years since campdraft competitions began, and he helped organise the 2017 Battle of Beersheba re-enactment in Tabulam.
Mr George said both men has contributed to the community well above the duties of the positions they hold.
“I do it because of the kids,” Mr Jones said.
“They’re part of the community and the community should be very proud of them.”
Mr Petty – after choking up on hearing he’d also been awarded – eventually said he does it because he loves it, and for the lifelong friends he makes along the way.