Royal nod for ex­cep­tional work

North West Telegraph - - Front Page - Tay­lar Amonini

I dream of a world where my job as a doc­tor is sel­dom needed.

John van Bock­xmeer

South Hed­land res­i­dent, doc­tor and char­ity founder John van Bock­xmeer has been recog­nised by the royal fam­ily for his ex­cep­tional vol­un­teer work.

Her Majesty Queen El­iz­a­beth II recog­nised Dr van Bock­xmeer last week with the 45th Commonwealth Points of Light award in hon­our of his ex­cep­tional vol­un­teer work es­tab­lish­ing the char­ity Fair Game.

Dr van Bock­xmeer is an emer­gency depart­ment doc­tor at the Hed­land Health Cam­pus. He es­tab­lished Fair Game in 2010 af­ter see­ing Abo­rig­i­nal chil­dren in the re­mote Pil­bara play­ing foot­ball with a tin can.

“It is a great hon­our to be named as Aus­tralia’s Point of Light re­cip­i­ent on be­half of my team of vol­un­teer Fair Gamers who work tire­lessly to­wards our vi­sion of a fit and healthy Aus­tralia,” he said.

“I dream of a world where my job as a doc­tor is sel­dom needed and I will keep work­ing with a pos­i­tive, tena­cious, so­lu­tions-fo­cused at­ti­tude to achieve this.

“In­equal­ity is a dif­fer­ence be­tween two peo­ple that is sys­temic, un­fair and pre­ventable.

“Healthy life­style choices are cru­cial to im­prov­ing qual­ity of life.

“It is a tragedy that Aus­tralians liv­ing in re­mote and ru­ral ar­eas do not have equal ac­cess to or ed­u­ca­tion sur­round­ing these.”

Fair Game Aus­tralia is a not-for­profit or­gan­i­sa­tion which aims to im­prove the health and well­be­ing of in­dige­nous chil­dren and refugees in re­mote com­mu­ni­ties by de­liv­er­ing fit­ness ac­tiv­i­ties, health ed­u­ca­tion and re­cy­cled sports equip­ment.

Since 2010, Fair Game Aus­tralia has do­nated more than 31,000 items of re­cy­cled sports equip­ment to ur­ban and re­mote com­mu­ni­ties, and has es­tab­lished a nationwide net­work of more than 200 skilled, cul­tur­ally aware vol­un­teer “Fair Gamers”.

Bri­tish High Com­mis­sioner to Aus­tralia Menna Rawl­ings CMG said she was de­lighted Dr van Bock­xmeer had been se­lected.

“John’s tremen­dous work and ded­i­ca­tion to im­prov­ing the health of all Aus­tralians is truly in­spir­ing,” she said.

“It’s es­pe­cially fit­ting that John is be­ing recog­nised now, as the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games gets un­der­way; his work through Fair Game Aus­tralia high­lights the power of sport at a com­mu­nity level.”

The Commonwealth Points of Light awards recog­nises out­stand­ing vol­un­teers whose ser­vice is mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in their com­mu­ni­ties and whose story can in­spire oth­ers to cre­ate in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions to so­cial chal­lenges in their own com­mu­ni­ties.

Pic­ture: Fair Game

Fair Game founder Dr John van Bock­xmeer with­War­ra­long com­mu­nity chil­dren.

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