“I think the O in OAM can only stand for ‘overwhelmed’.”

That was popular music teacher Heather Bieman, on being among the four Camden locals recognised for their tireless efforts in the Camden community as part of the recent King’s Birthday honours.

Recognised for her service to music through teaching, Ms Bieman founded the local AGAPE Arts music and creative arts school in 2004, where she is the director and head music teacher.

She has also been the coordinator of the Combined Schools Choir’s annual Camden Community Carols for 20 years and taught music at Camden High School for 17 years.

“I’m totally overwhelmed and excited too!” she said.

Val Stewart, the founding president of the Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard charity in Camden, was also recognised with a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).

The charity runs an op shop in Camden, with the funds raised supporting people affected by domestic violence, financial hardship and homelessness in the Macarthur region.

“I certainly feel very honoured indeed to receive this OAM award and privileged to be one of the people chosen,” Mrs Stewart said.

“I love doing what I do and serving the community in whatever way I can; it’s never done for recognition or reward, therefore is a lovely surprise when it happens.”

NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) volunteer Andrew Macdonald, from Catherine Field, was recognised with the Australian Fire Service Medal.

Mr Macdonald, who joined the RFS in 1981, has undertaken important brigade service not only locally, but also across Australia and as far as Botswana.

“It was surreal to get the honour. I actually started shaking, which doesn’t happen too often because you see a lot of confronting scenes while working in the RFS,” Mr Macdonald said.

“It felt absolute fantastic to be recognised in this way.”

Camden Council’s Director Community Assets, Sandra Kubecka, received the Public Service Medal (PSM) for outstanding public service in response to, and recovery efforts following, the Camden local government area floods in 2022.

Congratulating the recipients, Mayor of Camden Ashleigh Cagney, said, “What an amazing community we have here in Camden, as evidenced by these well- earned honours.

“Congratulations Andrew, Val, Heather and Sandra. The Camden community has benefitted greatly from your hard work and I couldn’t be more proud to have people of your calibre here in our LGA.”

Val Stewart

Sandra Kubecka

Andrew Macdonald