Order of Australia winner John ‘Ken’ McDonald.
Order of Australia winner John ‘Ken’ McDonald.

Our Australia Day champions

THE true Australian spirit is alive in Order of Australia Medal recipients John “Ken” McDonald and Judith Terkelsen.

The Tweed residents have been recognised in the general division of the prestigious Australia Day awards.

Mr McDonald received recognition for his services to the cattle industry and his commitment to the Tweed River region.

“It was very gratifying to see that I had been recognised, but it is a time for reflection and humility,” Mr McDonald said.

“You are born into a great part of the world and it is an honour to be a part of this community.

“Cattle are my first love and I have spent a lifetime with them.”

After being educated at Mt St Patrick College in Murwillumbah and attending Woodlawn College in Lismore, Mr McDonald returned to the home farm of Kendonvale to pursue a life on the land as a cattle breeder.

Mr McDonald was a member of the Royal Panel of Judges of the Australian Jersey Herd Society and officiated as a royal judge at the royal shows of Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne.

He was a delegate at two world conferences and is a past president and life member of the Tweed-Richmond Jersey Breeders Association.

Mr McDonald was the youngest of 35 members elected to the Tweed River Agricultural Society committee and was president for 12 years.

“As president I welcomed many prominent guests, but the highlight was hosting Prince Charles during his visit to officially open the 1977 show,” Mr McDonald said.

Ms Terkelson was awarded recognition for her services to children and their families.

As a director and teacher at Tweed Valley Early Childhood Intervention Service since 1984, Ms Terkelsen has made a difference to many lives.

“It is with a measure of humility I accept the award, however I want to acknowledge it is a whole team of people in the Tweed Valley Early Intervention Service Inc,” Ms Terkelsen said.

“This included the voluntary management committee, staff, parents of children with a disability, this service’s wonderful community partners who sponsor many projects and many other significant others in services working to make a positive influence in the lives of infants and young children with disabilities.

“I hope this award will encourage young people to move into the field of early childhood intervention education. In my opinion, teaching in this field is far more complex, far more challenging and far more rewarding than a typical teaching career.”

Ms Terkelsen also acknowledged her partner Tony and sister Kelly Ann.

Ms Terkelsen’s involvement with the service includes Tweed Shire Planning Group Families NSW, Far North Coast Early Childhood Intervention Collegiate and many other groups and services.

The medal recipients will be acknowledged at today’s Tweed Australia Day ceremony.

The main Tweed Shire Australia Day event will take place at Bogangar from 11am

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