Late community hero rewarded over efforts

SUCCESSFUL businessman, philanthropist and community-minded family man, the late John Wesley Owsnett has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the General Division for services to the community through a range of roles.

Passing away in August 2021, John was nominated for the honour while still alive and as such, the OAM has been backdated to June 2020.
Operating as a real estate agent in the district for over 50 years, his Professionals Padstow business was consistently ranked as one of the top professional offices in Australia and still is, thanks to the leadership and training John provided to his children, Belinda, Todd and Dean, who followed him into the industry.
John was chairman/president of the Padstow Chamber of Commerce for 20 years, a Justice of the Peace for 50 years, former editor of Peakhurst Lugarno Scope Community Booklet and a foundation member of the Lions Club of Lugarno, 1974-2021.
In this capacity, he received Lions’ highest accolade, the Melvin Jones Award, and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for St Vincent Hospital’s Victor Chang Institute, St George Hospital, schools, soccer clubs, junior rugby league clubs, the Salvation Army and more.
He was also an Ambassador for Lung Foundation Australia. 
His wife of over 50 years, Joy Owsnett said the St George Illawarra Dragons enthusiast was a one-of-a-kind, larger-than-life character.
“He would be humbled and honoured to receive this award,” she said.
“He was very driven and a very proud Australian.
“He is one of those irreplaceable human beings and is missed deeply by all of us.”