THERE was a time that if you wanted to know what was really going on in Fremantle, you’d turn to June Hutchison.
A former city councillor, she knew every major issue inside out; the players, the background and the options on the table.
She was on the committees that counted, and with her quiet but firm manner, when she spoke politicians of all persuasions listened.
Now aged 93, Ms Hutchison says she’s stepped back from most of her engagements, but this week she was recognised with an Order of Australia medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her services to the Fremantle community.
Ms Hutchison started as a volunteer with the Women’s Information and Referral Exchange in the 1980s and co-founded the Fremantle Justice Group in 1993.
During the early 1990s she was a driving force in the establishment of the Fremantle Precincts – only the second of its kind in Australia. A member of the governing bodies of the local and state libraries, Ms Hutchison has also been a strong advocate for local heritage and has been a Fremantle History Society member for “many years”.
She was also the chair of the Fremantle Arts Centre Press board in 1995 and was involved in focus groups investigating the heritage of the Fremantle Prison and Fremantle Hospital.
Ms Hutchison told the Herald she was surprised but delighted by the honour.
She said she was happy with the new generation of Fremantle’s community activists.
“They seem to be very much on top of the issues – even when I don’t always agree with them,” she said.
Also being awarded an OAM was North Fremantle master mariner Michael Gusterson for his services to marine seismic surveying.
Adding an AM to his name is Applecross pharmacist Michael Dillon, the founder and former chairman of Pharmacy 777. A former head of a swag of organisations such as the Melville Chamber of Commerce, St Benedict’s School, Applecross Rotary, Dr Dillon has been a life member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia since 2015.
Applecross mining executive Bryan Smith was also awarded an AM in the general division of the Order of Australia for his services to the minerals and mining research and exploration sector. Starting his career with the CSIRO in the 1960s, he’s been director of numerous mining companies and sat on many committees.
By STEVE GRANT