Alpha man recognised for years of public service
DESMOND Allen Howard started working in local government 41 years ago.
Even when he decided to retire in 2018, something pulled him back to public service.
"It seems you do get hooked," he said. "It's a great industry. You meet a lot of people and feel as though you can do some good for communities."
Mr Howard, 65, is a recipient of a public service medal for the 2020 Queen's Birthday Honours List.
He grew up in Jericho, working for the council there in 1979. Having then lived in Alpha most of his life, he is now the CEO at Blackall-Tambo Regional Council.
Mr Howard considers it his job to fight for the betterment of his region.
"It's just trying to achieve something better for the communities," he said.
"Particularly out here, it's always a constant battle. You never know what's going to be the issues of the day.
"The communities are great and they all want what's best - trying to make the place liveable to keep people out here."
Every year the Governor-General recognises Australians for contributions to their towns and country.
Mr Howard was nominated for his tireless work developing regional Queensland during his time in the public service.
"It's good to get a pat on the back, but it's just part of my job," he said. "It's what I do.
"I try to give my job 100 per cent all the time. We really need to think regionally; we're all in this together."
Mr Howard said he would continue to enjoy work as long as he was healthy. He said he was "just happy to be alive" with his wife Georgia and his four children.
"I go to work, do my job, and I'm always happy if I can just see the community going ahead and surviving, particularly through the tough times," he said.
"You can develop a lot of friends over the years, and I am extremely fortunate to have such a wonderful family to support me.
"While my health is good, I'll continue working."
Governor-General David Hurley said that the Queen's Birthday Honours List highlighted those who showed love and compassion for their fellows.
"It's a microcosm of Australia," he said.
"This list recognises a group of outstanding Australians who have made a contribution to their community, to Australia globally or domestically. Their efforts have been noted by their peers, they've been nominated and assessed independently as worthy of recognition.
"On behalf of all Australians, I congratulate them and thank them for their contribution to our country."