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Former local member in Queen’s Birthday honours list

John Anderson at Bourke, while he was Member for Gwydir, 2006. PHOTO TWH

Some people just keep on helping others, even though they face many challenges in life, and former local Federal member, John Anderson, has certainly kept the flame of community service alive.

Mr Anderson served as Member for Gwydir and Deputy Prime Minister for many years and has been awarded the Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

But since he left parliament in 2005 Mr Anderson has continued to put everything, he has into make the world a better place for others, and that is why he has been recognised again.

His award is for his service to rural and regional development, his leadership in international agricultural research and food security, social commentary and through contributions to not-for-profit organisations.

It is the second time he has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, receiving an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2011.

He said this honour was recognition of the work he has done since he left politics and he was surprised and grateful for that contribution to be recognised.

“I wasn’t expecting it and I am delighted to have the opportunity to support ordinary Australians doing incredible things, not just in this country but across the region - in Asia, the Pacific Islands and Africa,” he said.

“Through that work we have been able to lift people out of poverty. The award also recognises the Conversation series I do on podcast and video, which have been very well received.

“I have been recognised already for my time in politics, but this honour is for what I have done after politics and it’s gratifying because it’s not so much about me, but the people and organisations I have been able to support, like the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal and the international not-for-profit bank which makes tiny loans for people less fortunate than ourselves.

“To see kids with full bellies able to go to school as a result of that work is gold,” Mr Anderson said.

In his political life, Mr Anderson was the local Nationals member for Gwydir before the electoral boundaries changed and the seat became the Parkes electorate.

He was a committed advocate for rural communities in the west and rose through the ranks and served as the 11th Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the National Party from 1999 to 2005.

Mr Anderson had an illustrious political career during his tenure as a member of the House of Representatives, serving as Minister for Primary Industry and Energy and Minister for Transport and Regional Development in the Howard Government.

He admits his career as a politician has enabled him to do valuable work as a private citizen.

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