New inductee celebration

Local identities Ian ‘Snow’ Nielsen, Mary Kay, John Collis and Vicki O’Halloran (not pictured) are the newest inductees into Circular Head Wall of Fame. For more photos from the event go to page 4.

Honour. The Circular Head Wall of Fame has grown to include the achievements of four new inductees.

John Collis, Mary Kay, Ian ‘Snow’ Nielsen OAM and Vicki O’Halloran AM were honoured at a ceremony held at the Circular Head Community and Recreation Centre’s Hall of Fame in Smithton on Sunday.

The most recent inductees join more than 50 individuals and groups.

The induction process is one which requires months of planning, says chairman Gerald Kay.

“Nominations are sought from the community at large and to nominate an achiever is a responsibility requiring quite a lot of research.

“The Hall of Fame committee meets to discuss the nomination and in particular to determine if it meets the criteria of eligibility.”

A summary of the inductees is prepared by Adie Cole before design work is undertaken.

“We are all very proud of this Wall of Fame creation, and I hope future generations will be just as proud of the many fine Circular Head achievers we have here on display.”

To nominate a community member for consideration, drop into Wells Wragg Pharmacy at 142 Nelson Street, Smithton for a nomination form. Nominations close May 31 before the annual ceremony is held in November.

Right on target

At age 16 and in his last year of schooling, John Collis joined the Smithton Rifle Club. Having no equipment of his own John was able to use the necessary gear owned by the club until he could afford to buy his own. His older teammates were great mentors and encouraged him along the way. He first represented his state in an Under 25 competition in 1978 and again in 1980.

John took time out from the sport in 1990 but returned in 2002 with a strong desire to improve his rankings. With the help of good custom-made equipment and rifles he has achieved that desire in all forms of target shooting.

John’s next target is to represent his country well in England as part of the World Championships and Woomera Trophy in July.

Radio’s most trusted

Emigrating to Australia from England as a child, Mary Kay and her family first lived at Forth before settling in Nabageena, where Mary met her future husband Geoff.

They have two sons, one daughter and seven grandchildren.

Geoff was a member of the local yacht club and Mary started recording times when the races were taking place. Other recreational boat users heard her talking on the radio and joined in the conversations. This is how her radio station grew to what it has become today – a service that is entirely voluntary, and has operated 24 hours, seven days a week since 1996.

Fishermen’s stories about black spots in the area prompted Mary to do something about the poor radio reception. She worked hard attending meetings, preparing submissions, and received a $32,000 state government grant for a base station to be erected on Three Hummock Island, improving the service immensely.

Mary’s familiar voice hits the airwaves at 6am each morning, and again at 8am and 5pm giving weather reports and warnings, taking position reports from boaters and fishermen out in the waters of Bass Strait.

Working closely with Marine and Safety Tasmania, during one particular year Mary received more than 5000 calls. She answers the distress signals of fishermen and sailors, assists marine police in any search and rescue work in local areas, across Bass Strait and surrounding waters. To date there are at least 10 men who would not be alive today without the help that Mary provided.

Mary is the only woman in Tasmania to operate such a station on her own.

Mary is a founding member of Soroptimist International of Circular Head, and has held most positions including president and secretary.

Mary has also served as a Rotarian for 25 years.

Mary has also written three books on local history: The JS Lee Story, Max Hardy’s Memoirs, and Tin Can Heroes: Max Grey’s Story (a copy of this book sits in the museum of the Australian War Memorial).

Safety first for Snow

Moving to Tasmania from the mainland in 1953, Snow met and married local lass Dianne Love and together they raised seven children.

He started work with the Hydro Electric Commission as a labourer. It was here that he became interested in first aid after a fellow employee had an accident and was attended to by a supervisor trained in first aid.

Snow immediately enrolled in a St John course and attended the next six sessions. In 1962 he joined St John as an on-road volunteer ambulance officer.

In 1974, Snow joined Ambulance Tasmania as a full time officer and trained to qualify as an ambulance and station officer.

The following year he trained at The Royal Melbourne Hospital to become a paramedic. Over the next five years he undertook further training in specific areas which allowed him to become a road rescue and wilderness officer. This involved him in many road, air, sea and rugged wilderness rescues.

As a paramedic, Snow became concerned that there was no rescue equipment or vehicle available locally to aid with road traffic accidents, especially in isolated areas. He became actively involved in approaching the right people, sourcing funding and donations to set up Circular Head’s first fully equipped road crash rescue vehicle.

In 1983 the local ambulance rescue unit was transitioned to Circular Head State Emergency Service. In 2014 the team was granted by the Tasmanian Community Fund to purchase 11 defibrillators to be placed in remote areas of Circular Head.

Snow and his team promptly commenced training 140 community members in their use.

Snow has dedicated most of his life to working tirelessly for his community, never needing or expecting recognition. At community events Snow would be seen until the early hours of the morning making sure everyone and everything was safe.

Leading the way

Vicki O’Halloran was born and educated in Smithton. Her interest in the field of social services, and in particular disability, began whilst attending Smithton Primary School.

After finishing her secondary studies, Vicki went on to complete her Diploma of Early Childhood. This led to her becoming the first Director of the Circular Head Child Care Centre, opening it to the public in 1987.

After relocating to Darwin two years later, Vicki completed her Bachelor of Early Childhood Education and her Diploma of Company Directors.

In 1993 Vicki commenced working at Somerville Community Services, an organisation providing a comprehensive range of services to people and their families in the Northern Territory.

In 1998 she was appointed as chief executive officer leading a team of 260 dedicated and enthusiastic employees.

Over the years Vicki has managed many commitments, sitting on numerous boards and committees at both local and national levels.

In October, Vicki was sworn in by the Governor-General at Parliament House as the 22nd Administrator of the Northern Territory.

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