Arncliffe’s Michael Price has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to people with a disability and to the community.
Mr Price has been the chief executive officer of the Intellectual Disability Foundation of St George since 1993.
Originally the Arncliffe Occupational Centre and then St George Special Industries Association, the Intellectual Disability Foundation supports employment for 160 people with disabilities at its centre at Kogarah and the Bayside Garden Centre, formerly Rockdale Community Nursery, which provides community participation and skills development for about 55 people with disabilities.
For his efforts he was named Rockdale Council’s Citizen of the Year in 2013.
Mr Price served in the Australian army for 26 years, retiring in 1993 with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.
He has used the skills he organisational learned in army life to several community causes.
Mr Price was also instrumental in getting the Bexley Community Bank Branch of the Bendigo Bank started and is now its company secretary and treasurer.
“When the Commonwealth Bank moved out we felt the need to start a community bank,” he said.
“I was on the initial board. It took three years to establish. It’s been hard yards but it has been worth it.
“The aims of the community bank is to give back to the community. So the Intellectual Disability Foundation got involved with the aim of supporting a community bank.
“The charter of the community is to return 80 per cent of profits back to the community.
“Over the years, the bank has supported Nurses of Wheels. SES, Salvos, local sporting groups and many more.
“We have to act all together as a community. No one else cares about us. The St George area needs to continue its great tradition of supporting each other.
“Australia has a great tradition of cooperatives and mutuals that we made a developing country.
“We forgot about that for a while but I feel we should reinvigorate the idea and see what we can do.
“We could do more to bring back the spirit of cooperation and collaborative action and see what we could do in the future.”