27 September 2023

Public Servants honoured on King’s Birthday

Start the conversation

Members of Australian Public Services in all States and Territories of the nation have been recognised for their commitment and abilities on King Charles’ Birthday Honours List for 2023.

The King’s recognition for members of the New South Wales Public Service were presented in accordance with the Order of Australia and announced on His Majesty’s behalf by his Excellency the Governor-General, General David Hurley.

“Learning about the wide-ranging service of recipients, which spans almost every field of endeavour imaginable, is uplifting and makes me enormously optimistic for our country,” the Governor-General said.

“Collectively they speak to who we are now and who we can be in the future,” he said.

“Notably, for the first time since the Order of Australia was established in 1975, the majority of recipients in the General Division are women. Similarly, there is gender parity or better at the three highest levels in the Order.”

Current and past members of the NSW PS honoured on the occasion, including the recipients of the Public Service Medal this year, were:


Lynette RILEY AO

University of Sydney

For distinguished service to education, particularly through the development of Indigenous curriculum and student support, to reconciliation, and to the community.

Dr Riley is Chair and Associate Professor of the Aboriginal Education and Indigenous Education at the University of Sydney and has been a Senior Lecturer since 2006.


David Michael BLUNT AM


For significant service to the Parliament of New South Wales.

Mr Blunt has been the Clerk of the Parliaments and Clerk of the Legislative Council at the Parliament of New South Wales since 2011.


District Court of New South Wales

For significant service to the judiciary and to the law.

The Honourable Justice Culver has been a Judge in District Court of New South Wales since 2014.

Timothy John MOORE AM

Land and Environment Court of New South Wales

For significant service to the judiciary and to the law, to the Parliament of New South Wales, and to industrial relations.

The Honourable Justice MOORE has been a Judge with the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales since 2016.

Jane Fitzgerald SPRING AM

Disability Council New South Wales

For significant service to disability advocacy in sport, and to public sector administration.

Ms Spring was Ambassador, Include Ability for the Australian Human Rights Commission in 2021 as well as Chair of the Disability Council New South Wales since 2021, Chief Operating Officer of the NSW Public Service Commission in 2018, Member of Event Access and Inclusion Group in the Department of Premier and Cabinet since 2012 and a Member of the New South Wales Advisory Committee for Athletes with a Disability since 1999.



Transport for NSW

For outstanding public service in coordinating the disaster response and recovery effort following the Northern Rivers floods.

Mr Campbell has held the role of District Works Manager in the Far North Coast district for Transport for NSW since 2002. This role manages approximately 100 staff to deliver road construction and maintenance works on the state road network.

In managing this large workforce of both office and field-based staff, Mr Campbell has devoted significant time and effort into building a passionate and committed team.

The extreme floods that impacted the Northern Rivers of NSW in early to mid-2022 were recorded as the largest natural disaster in Australia’s history (in terms of cost and impact on local communities).

Under Mr Campbell’s outstanding leadership, his team coordinated staff and resources to respond to numerous flood disaster requests including the urgent rescue of community members stranded on roofs; supporting trapped motorists requiring food and water; monitoring and responding to continually changing road conditions with rising/lowering floodwaters often changing with tides and maintaining essential road access on the M1 motorway, particularly for freight vehicles.

Mr Campbell also managed closures of the motorway requiring urgent action and reopening alternative inland routes; clearing hazardous flood debris that was preventing public access on roads and bridges, the clean-up and repair of road networks, keeping them serviceable and assisting local Councils with repairs to their networks in the weeks and months following the disaster.

Throughout this time, Mr Campbell was the consistent and driving force behind this effective and coordinated response. Mr Campbell’s dedication to the recruitment and development of his workforce led to the effective disaster response during the Northern Rivers floods crisis.


City of Parramatta Council

For outstanding public service to the water and local government sectors.

Ms Chadwick has held senior executive roles in the public service since 1998.

This included her role in 2016 as Administrator of the City of Parramatta Council where she was responsible for governance and foundation of a newly merged council comprising parts of five former local government areas.

Since 2019, Ms Chadwick has been Executive Director Performance at the NSW Department of Planning and Environment (Water) leading drought responses and successful reforms to reduce water risks in regional towns. She is respected for her innovation, accountability, customer focus and capacity to generate genuine collaboration across institutional boundaries.

Ms Chadwick was responsible for the design and delivery of Australia’s first large scale residential water efficiency program at Sydney Water. In partnership with experts in customer research and water efficiency technology, Ms Chadwick successfully designed and built the program with 15% of Sydney households now participating and saving 4.5 billion litres of water a year.

She led initiatives that reshaped the water sector, including the Greater Sydney’s millennial drought response and responses to save regional communities most at risk of day zero water supply. During the pandemic, Ms Chadwick led the Town Water Risk Reduction Program where she drove the establishment of a new partnership with the 89 local government owned water utilities in order to reduce key water risks and co-design a more modern regulatory framework.

Her commitment to transparent and collaborative partnerships was vital to the success of this NSW Government reform.

Ms Chadwick’s work and commitment have continued to unlock sustainability and economic benefits for customers through increased water efficiency, recycling and optimised investment decisions.

Ms Chadwick’s long and significant contribution to the continuous improvement of the NSW water sector is why she is highly regarded in the water industry as a collaborative leader with a strong track record in delivering strategic reforms.

Dr Ann Elizabeth DALY PSM

Department of Education

For outstanding public service in educational innovation programs supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Since commencing with the NSW Department of Education over 35 years ago, Dr Ann Daly has focused on the needs of Aboriginal students and the inhibitors to their success in school.

She has dedicated her career to promoting equity for students and working tirelessly to improve learning outcomes, particularly for students from disadvantaged Aboriginal communities, remote communities and for students with English as a second language or dialect.

Drawing on her expertise in English literacy and student assessment, Dr Daly worked with education staff to examine performance statistics for Aboriginal students and has brought about change by recommending texts are culturally sensitive, accessible and include the histories of Aboriginal peoples.

This not only ensures that Aboriginal students develop a greater sense of belonging and engagement at school but also provides non-Aboriginal students a deeper understanding of the cultures and stories that First Nations people carry with them.

Dr Daly’s outstanding service is evidenced through various innovation programs. She has developed highly successful web-based applications comprising reading and numeracy tests with automatically generated reports enabling schools to monitor learning impacts and required interventions. Her extensive research has generated critical insights into the relationship between spoken language and reading and writing texts. This has improved the structure of test programs and, in turn, improved students’ literacy performance.

Dr Daly has been an active member of several advocacy groups including ‘Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation’, and ‘The Friends of Myall Creek Memorial’, a volunteer group that brings together Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians to care for the heritage listed memorial and deliver school programs and reconciliation initiatives with thousands of visitors to the site each year.

She is celebrated by her peers for her integrity, compassion, and strategic leadership toward championing the educational needs of disadvantaged students, leading to meaningful and lasting change.

Hannah Louise DAMKAR PSM

Department of Premier and Cabinet.

For outstanding public service through communications leadership during the New South Wales 2019 – 2020 bushfires, COVID-19 pandemic and Northern Rivers floods.

Mrs Damkar has served in various communications roles across the NSW Public Sector for over a decade.

In January 2020, she sought out a secondment to the Bushfire Recovery Taskforce to assist the community impacted by the 2019 – 2020 bushfires. This turned into an 18-month secondment as Communications Director at Resilience NSW, before Mrs Damkar was awarded the role as Director of Communications at the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

During 2020 – 2022, Mrs Damkar led critical communications relating to the reopening roadmap for COVID-19 and brought together key Government agencies to collaborate in the Northern Rivers flood recovery response.

Mrs Damkar’s innovative approach to the Northern Rivers floods response was ground-breaking. After visiting flood affected communities, Mrs Damkar witnessed the increasing frustration of impacted locals with the grant application process. When she learned that over 2,500 locals had incomplete grant applications, she created the ‘Flood Grants Blitz’ model to deploy flood grants assessors to impacted areas, to provide one-on-one assistance to people applying for these grants.

The Flood Grants Blitz model gained support from the Premier’s and Minister’s offices, Northern Recovery Coordinator, CEO of Service NSW, Regional NSW and Resilience NSW, who agreed to provide resources for pop-up grants sessions across the impacted regions.

The Flood Grant Blitz project was a resounding success with community and stakeholders. The project, which was originally set for one week, ran for over six weeks, across eight pop-up locations, and generated the approval for 820 grants, totalling over $10 million of funding to the Northern Rivers community.

The grants blitz is now being replicated post disasters as a way to get funding out faster, to those who need it most.

Over the past two years, Mrs Damkar was deployed to Cobargo, Wilcannia, Dubbo, Lismore and more to spend time with communities during incredibly challenging times.

She continues to guide the NSW Government’s communications, continuously advocating on behalf of the community to ensure equitable support and access to information and services for all across the state.

Terry James DODDS PSM

Murray River Council

For outstanding public service in local government leadership through emergency management.

Mr Dodds has a career spanning 40 years in local government where he has held various leadership positions across three states and nine local councils.

He is recognised for visionary leadership and service delivery that has resulted in significant organisational change initiatives, public sector infrastructure delivery projects and critical community recovery following floods, bushfires, cyclones and drought crises.

During his tenure as Chief Executive Officer at Tenterfield Shire Council, Mr Dodds was confronted with many challenges in the wake of several environmental disasters.

His leadership during the 2019 drought has been recognised as one of his most significant achievements, seeing Mr Dodds direct a multi-million dollar project to drill for more water and lead advocacy efforts with the state government to make legislative change to the Water Management Act to enable critical Ministerial support and emergency funding.

The management of the drought involved one of the most robust and complex community consultations the town had ever experienced, aligned with an immediate need to identify a new water supply.

The local council was faced with challenges in regard to timeframes and permissions but despite this, Mr Dodds achieved a solution that will underpin the town’s water supply in future droughts.

Throughout his successful career Mr Dodds has been a driving force behind the development of many innovative programs and initiatives that have generated lasting benefits for the communities and local councils he has served.

From pioneering a sustainable and nationally acclaimed Waste-to-Energy initiative, bringing about significant workplace reforms to improve staff morale and collaboration, to developing water contamination solutions, Mr Dodds’ visionary guidance, superior problem-solving abilities and expeditious operational skills contribute to his reputation as being an exemplary leader and asset to the public service at large.

Paul Edward HUGHES PSM

Rosemeadow Public School

For outstanding public service through leadership in the New South Wales public education system.

Mr Hughes began his education career in 1992 as a classroom teacher, quickly advancing into school executive positions as his exceptional leadership skills became apparent.

Since 2006, he has been the Principal of Rosemeadow Public School in South-Western Sydney, with over 700 students, many from English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EALD) background.

Over his career, Mr Hughes has had a significant effect on the professional development of teachers and staff by identifying and nurturing aspiring or potential leaders. He has been instrumental in the development and implementation of the Camden Network Aspiring Leaders initiative with over 100 identified aspiring leaders networking and engaging in quality leadership development and professional learning.

In 2008, Mr Hughes joined the Aboriginal Education and Training team as a Principal contact officer, providing coaching and mentoring to a number of school leaders implementing a systems priority to improve outcomes for Aboriginal students. He was integral in engaging his network of Principals to examine their practices for engaging Aboriginal students, their families and their communities. This work inspired the construct and development of the Connected Communities Strategy, the Department of Education’s premier Aboriginal education strategy.

In addition Mr Hughes has taken carriage to lead and manage a myriad of initiatives such as the Early Career Teacher’s induction program; the Yalagang Aboriginal Student Gifted and Talented program and statewide and local principal coaching and mentoring initiatives.

Further initiatives include holding the position of local President of his Primary Principal Association network; facilitator of the Garry Waldron memorial education awards (school-sponsorships) and running weekend student/parent camps for students in Out of Home Care.

As a committed leader and advocate for public education, Mr Hughes has developed sustainable, productive relationships within and beyond the school community. His extraordinary ability to identify and build leadership capacity has resulted in the successful appointments of many current school leaders.

Jacob Israel JACKSON PSM

Corrective Services NSW

For outstanding public service in the implementation of Rapid Antigen Screening for Corrective Services NSW.

Mr Jackson has been instrumental in the implementation of Rapid Antigen Screening (RAS) for Corrective Services NSW, which was rolled out to staff across 140 corrective services sites including all NSW Correctional Centres.

This has been an essential tool in detecting COVID-19-positive persons and preventing transmission in high-risk environments of correctional facilities.

Mr Jackson used his unique skills and abilities to procure Rapid Antigen Tests in August 2021, when their use was novel, and has maintained the procurement and supply of these tests at competitive prices, saving over $350,000 for the NSW Government.

His hard work and tenacity meant Corrective Services NSW was one of the few NSW government agencies able to secure enough supply to test every 24 hours across all 36 Correctional Centres.

Mr Jackson and his team also assisted several other departments by providing them with tests when required and expert advice on the use of RAS in other Australian and International jurisdictions including Western Australia, the ACT, Victoria and New Zealand.

While coordinating resources, maintaining project documentation, and implementing and monitoring the RAS project plan, Mr Jackson undertook a Graduate Certificate in Emergency and Disaster Management, ensuring he continued to be an effective and resourceful leader.

His determination, selflessness and skill have been second to none. He worked tirelessly setting up testing sites and ensuring a sufficient supply of tests, often with as little as one day’s notice.

As a result of Mr Jackson’s work, Corrective Services NSW is currently the leader in the use of RAS in non-clinical settings across Australia. Corrective Services NSW has undertaken over 741,085 Rapid Antigen Tests and managed to detect and prevent 1,712 COVID-19 persons from entering the workplace.


Camden Council

For outstanding public service in the response to, and recovery efforts following, the Camden local government area floods.

Mrs Kubecka has excelled in her more than 40-year career as a public servant, from a Personal Assistant though to her current role as the Director Community Assets, Camden Council.

As the Director of Community Assets, Mrs Kubecka is responsible for 175 staff and oversees strategic functions of Sustainability and Open Space, Civil Construction and Maintenance, Major Projects, Assets and Design, Traffic, Depot, and Building Services.

Mrs Kubecka is responsible for emergency response and recovery and was instrumental in setting up the flood recovery working group responsible for emergency response and recovery coordination, road closures, communications, clean up and assessment and repairs during the four floods of 2022.

She provided outstanding leadership and support to guide the team to safely undertake the work that was required and coordinate initiatives to provide support to the community where needed.

Mrs Kubecka was the brainchild behind the idea of setting up a flood recovery information hub in the main street of Camden, as an initial triage centre and support location for impacted residents and businesses to gain access to vital information and support services. This flood support model was the first of its kind, working with Resilience NSW and other vital support agencies. This initiative is now a recognised resource provided by Council to community and businesses alike and will remain a fundamental feature of recovery phase in future emergency events.

Mrs Kubecka takes pride in using her position to better the lives of the people she leads and the community she serves. She always goes over and above to lead by example, tearing down barriers and continuing to advocate for her staff and the community.

Daniel Joseph LEAVY PSM

Transport for NSW

For outstanding public service through improving vehicle and road safety across the New South Wales road network.

Mr Leavy dedicated his 24-year career with Transport for NSW to improving vehicle standards for better road safety for the people of NSW.

As Senior Manager Safer Vehicles, Mr Leavy’s role was to improve the safety of the NSW vehicle fleet and implement policies and programs that would reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on the NSW road network.

As a result of his dedication to his role, Mr Leavy contributed to the 2021 NSW road toll being the lowest in almost 100 years.

Whether it be in road or worker safety, Mr Leavy was instrumental in many important safe design initiatives and innovations including the establishment of an international award-winning system for motorcycle clothing (MotoCAP) and improvements in helmet safety; development of a 5-Star vehicle purchasing policy, resulting in safer cars across the NSW and national fleets; establishment of Australia’s first Driver Assist Technology testing track at the Cudal testing facility near Orange NSW and significant improvements in Child Car Seat Safety.

Mr Leavy demonstrated his passion and dedication to his role after he suffered a major stroke, returning to complete significant projects throughout his rehabilitation, before ultimately having to medically retire. Since retirement he continues to improve the lives of NSW citizens as an ambassador for the Stroke Recovery Association NSW.

Mr Leavy has consistently exceeded expectations in his public service career, making a lasting contribution through his efforts and collaboration across Government, industry, and the community.

The long list of improvements in road and vehicle safety Mr Leavy initiated has resulted in an incredible reduction in trauma and has helped saved lives across NSW.

Damon John REES PSM

Service NSW

For outstanding public service in customer service delivery, in particular COVID-19 related services.

As the Chief Executive Officer of Service NSW, Mr Rees was instrumental in the establishment of Service NSW as a rapid delivery engine of the NSW Government with an unmatchable culture grounded in service, integrity and empathy.

Under his five-year leadership and during COVID-19, Mr Rees’ priority was to take customer service to a new level and provide calm and consistent services to eight million people across NSW whilst ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the 6,000 Service NSW employees who kept services running.

Prior to becoming Service NSW CEO, Mr Rees was the Chief Information and Digital Officer at the NSW Department of Finance, Service and Innovation.

His role was to bolster the NSW Government’s position as a national leader in digital service delivery. Mr Rees transferred his passion and proficiency to Service NSW in late 2017 where he worked on increasing Service NSW business partnerships with numerous agencies across government to deliver more services through a one-stop shop approach.

From the beginning of COVID-19, Mr Rees shaped a new role for Service NSW beyond its transactional beginnings. He focussed on connecting communities to the services they needed whilst delivering with care and empathy. Mr Rees drove the expansion of Service NSW’s disaster recovery support capacity and the delivery of various COVID-19 related products in record time, including the COVID-19 Safe Check-in, COVID-19 grants and vouchers for businesses and individuals, the Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) registration, COVID-19 vaccination certificates and the VIC/NSW border digital permit.

Mr Rees created an environment where care, inclusivity and purpose are paramount and is described as the ultimate accessible, approachable and engaging leader.

His leadership has enabled Service NSW to continue to support NSW citizens, particularly during the challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Service NSW has an average of 98 per cent customer satisfaction rate across all delivery channels, service centres, contact centres and online which shows that NSW customers have come to trust and rely on Service NSW as the front door of government information and services.

Denise Anne ROBENS PSM

Regentville Public School

For outstanding public service in classroom teaching at Regentville Public School.

Mrs Robens has been a highly respected classroom teacher at Regentville Public School for over 20 years.

At 70 years of age, she epitomises the key role of a teacher – service to students – with dignity and respect and leads her classroom to optimise learning progress for all students. Her passion and determination to improve the life and learning outcomes of the students and the school community she serves is outstanding.

Through regular and extensive analysis of student progress and achievement data, Mrs Robens informs key decisions such as resourcing, planning and implementation of new initiatives and programs for Regentville Public School.

She routinely reviews learning with each student both in class and on work submitted, ensuring all students have a clear understanding of how to improve. Her kind and caring demeanour coupled with her deep knowledge of curriculum and assessment ensures all students feel valued and cared for and they remain engaged and challenged at school.

Mrs Robens works collaboratively with her colleagues to ensure students are placed in a position to succeed and goes above and beyond by leading extracurricular programs such as school choir and student participation at the Sydney Writers’ competition.

Her moral imperative to serve extends from the classroom to the staffroom and into the community.

As the High Potential and Gifted Education Lead at the school, she has participated in rigorous training and development to upskill her knowledge of policy and practice and delivered professional learning to all staff, with a focus on differentiation and meeting the needs of the whole child.

Mrs Robens is an outstanding educator and her accreditation at Highly Accomplished level, is testament to her knowledge, skills, commitment, and practice.

She is a much-loved role model and inspiration for staff, students, and teachers within Regentville Public School and across the whole public education system.


Griffith City Council

For outstanding public service to the community of Griffith.

Mr Stonestreet has dedicated 43 years to local government, with 19 years in the most senior positions of CEO and General Manager.

When Mr Stonestreet took office as the General Manager with Griffith City Council in 2011, Council was on a downward trend in terms of financial sustainability with a low cash reserve.

Through determination and proactive leadership, Mr Stonestreet was able to achieve stronger budget surpluses which he has maintained from year to year. This created opportunities to provide additional services and infrastructure in Griffith, improving the lives of residents and attracting visitation to the region.

Due to his long-term strategic approach, Griffith now enjoys two community stages boosting connection to the performing arts sector, and a new sporting facility to encourage a fit and active community.

The establishment of the St Vincent Private Community Hospital, a $28 million, 26-bed private hospital, is another excellent example of his commitment to the betterment of his community. This hospital will lead to improvements in specialist healthcare services and create more employment opportunities in Griffith.

Mr Stonestreet’s business acumen and vision for Griffith have been the driving force behind all his projects, especially the recently adopted Griffith Housing Strategy.

This project aims to help address the city’s shortage of affordable accommodation, a result of Griffith’s economic development. As Chair of the Project Control Group, Mr Stonestreet and Griffith City Council continue to collaborate with community housing provider Argyle to realise housing solutions.

Under Mr Stonestreet’s leadership, the quality of life for Griffith residents continues to improve. He maintains a big-picture vision for Griffith, strategically building a better city to enjoy now and into the future with attractive streetscapes for visitors and a wonderful place for families to live, work and play.

Stephen John THORPE PSM

Corrective Services NSW

For outstanding public service in driving change and innovation in Corrective Services NSW.

Mr Thorpe, as Group Director, Industries and Education, has championed prisoner education programs providing inmates with the opportunity to gain real-world employability skills to enhance their rehabilitation and employment prospects upon reintegration to the community.

Through his visionary leadership, Mr Thorpe has significantly contributed to the growth of the Corrective Service Industry (CSI) which now operates over 100 successful commercial business units and service industry teams, delivering an extensive range of quality products and services. This has led to CSI being recognised as a market leader, setting a benchmark in world’s best practice.

Over his long public service career, Mr Thorpe has focused on developing CSI’s capability, so inmates are now able to perform almost every non-security support function within NSW prisons.

This includes the manufacturing of 14 million inmate meals annually, prison building and grounds maintenance, construction of capital works, manufacturing clothing, and laundry, cleaning and logistics.

By improving education and vocational training work opportunities for inmates, these programs have helped to reduce recidivism.

Mr Thorpe was pivotal in supporting a large-scale research project that explored the impacts of traineeships on recidivism through the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research. Results published in 2021 highlighted a direct link to a reduction in re-offending.

This research is shaping the role of CSI and prison industries beyond service and business opportunities to a demonstrated impact on community safety. This research is the first of its kind in Australia and would not have been possible without Mr Thorpe’s contribution.

Mr Thorpe is regarded by his peers as having genuine care and compassion for inmates, demonstrating an unrelenting determination to provide maximum opportunities for inmates to learn while in custody so that upon release they can gain meaningful employment. Approximately 100,000 inmates have been supported in prison work and education under Mr Thorpe’s leadership.

Sarah (Sally) WEBB PSM

Transport for NSW

For outstanding public service in the delivery of legal and governance advice in New South Wales, particularly across the COVID-19 pandemic response.

Ms Webb has a broad career across international, national, and state roles in the public sector, legal professional practice, and private enterprise.

In August 2015, she joined the NSW Police Force as General Counsel and remained in this role until June 2020 when she joined Transport for NSW as Chief Legal Officer.

Ms Webb led the NSW Police Force’s legal response during the pivotal period from the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

She worked tirelessly to support the Commissioner and operational police in the initial stages of the pandemic, including providing advice on the interaction between State and Commonwealth laws, the establishment of the hotel quarantine programme and the enforcement of Public Health Orders.

The legal issues Ms Webb was required to advise on were novel, voluminous and urgent as well as having a significant impact on the whole NSW community.

At this time, the development of the Public Health Orders was in its infancy and the role they would play in the management of the pandemic was unknown.

Under Ms Webb’s leadership, her team developed a fact sheet template which became the key method to communicate Public Health Orders to police officers.

Establishing this simple and effective communication method between the General Counsel and operational police was an important innovation that remained critical for the duration of the pandemic.

Ms Webb brought a calm leadership to the myriad of complex legal issues that needed to be navigated in the first months of the pandemic. She displayed resilience and gave thoughtful and well considered advice.

Overall, Ms Webb was a key leader in the NSW Police Force’s response to the pandemic and was relied on by the NSW Police Force senior executive. Ms Webb stepped up to the task without hesitation working around the clock to make a significant contribution to the safety of the NSW community.

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.