John Hastzistergos with wife Maria and their children Irene, Connie and Theo. Photo: DANIELA GEDZ
NAMED a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queens Birthday Honours list, district court judge John Hatzistergos said the award came "out of the blue".
"I've always derived tremendous satisfaction from what I've done - this wasn't something I solicited, this is someone else's acknowledgement," he said.
"It's deeply humbling. It's not something I've ever cultivated or sought. I've always regarded public service as a privilege."
Serving on Canterbury Council from 1995-1999, including a stint as Deputy Mayor, Mr Hatzistergos moved on to state politics and was elected to the Legislative Council from 1999 to 2011.
Holding a number of Ministerial portfolios, including as State Attorney General from 2007-2011, after leaving politics he became an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Technology, also working at Australian Crime Commission for two years before being appointed as a District Court Judge in 2014.
Honoured for 'significant service to the law and the judiciary, and to the people and Parliament of NSW through a range of ministerial roles', he told the Torch that his family was integral to his achievements.
"I couldn't have achieved anything without their support," he said.
"I've done a lot of very demanding things and it's detracted from them as well. My family put up with me all the time whereas my work colleagues put up with me part of the time.
"I came from humble beginnings but that's not uncommon for migrant families. I think that's a marvellous statement about this country."