Badge of honour
Five current or former department of education employees honoured in this year's Australia Day Honours List will receive their awards in a ceremony later in the year.
Two people were awarded the Member of the Order of Australia (AM).
Former department employee Maree O'Halloran was honoured for her service to industrial relations and the education sector, through a range of representative roles.
Bulli High School principal Bruce Sander has received this award for his service to education, particularly through the implementation and development of innovative programs supporting youth, and to the community.
Mr Sander said it was a "huge shock" to receive the award as he felt many of his colleagues were equally worthy.
"I do take it as a recognition that the quiet commitment that we make to public education, often through some very tough times and adventures, can be recognised and appreciated in the broader community," Mr Sander said.
Current departmental teachers John Kilborn and Lieutenant Colonel Maxwell Neal received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).
Mr Kilborn was awarded for his services to cricket in NSW and Lieutenant Colonel Neal for his service to youth, particularly through the Australian Army Cadets.
After 50 years of teaching, Lieutenant Colonel Neal said it was "a great honour to receive something for simply doing things you enjoy immensely."
"Probably my greatest joy has come from watching young people who have not had a very good background suddenly enjoying a measure of success and realising they only succeeded because I had taught them something new," Lieutenant Colonel Neal said.
Honoured for his outstanding public service, particularly to the Blairmount Public School, was Trevor Rice who received a Public Service Medal.
Blairmount Public School deputy principal Melissa Clarke said Mr Rice was a worthy recipient of the medal.
"Trevor has been a general assistant at my school for more than 30 years," Ms Clarke said.
"He is an integral part of the school community and is an informal mentor and role model for many of the boys.
"Trevor makes a difference in their lives, as well as ensuring our school is well maintained.
"It's tremendous that Trevor has been recognised for his commitment and dedication to the school and its students."
Photo: Trevor Rice with Blairmount Public School students. Photo by Melissa Clarke.