Peter McMahon is one of several Ipswich volunteers to be recognised in the 2015 Queen's Birthday Honours.
Peter McMahon is one of several Ipswich volunteers to be recognised in the 2015 Queen's Birthday Honours. Rob Williams

Pillars of our community honoured in Queen's Birthday list

AFTER decades of tireless service, proud 'born and bred' Ipswich local Peter McMahon has been awarded an Order of Australia Medal.

Mr McMahon was one of six locals recognised for their outstanding service and dedication to the community of Ipswich in the 2015 Queen's Birthday Honours yesterday.

"I'm overwhelmed," he said.

"I was born in Ipswich.

"Having lived here all of my life and having been involved in so many organisations has made be aware of how many good, giving people we have around town."

Mr McMahon began his volunteering career as a member of the Ipswich Show Society in 1971, becoming president of the society 24 years later.

"My father was a member of the show society, I went to the show as a child and took my children," he said.

"I really enjoyed it. There was such a diverse group of people organising the show.

"That's another aspect of good old Ipswich, there are so many diverse people in every organisation."

Many people would know the Coalfalls resident as the friendly face at McMahon's Swim Factory who taught them how to swim.

"Swimming is a big passion of mine," he said.

"If kids can swim well they can be very safe. We start lessons from three months so kids learn how to handle water."

Mr McMahon said more than 30,000 young students have learnt to swim through the much-loved swim factory.

In 1982, the 71-year-old began his work with the Rotary Club of Ipswich City.

Mr McMahon served as club president on two separate occasions during 1997-98 and 1998-99 and is still heavily involved with the long-standing organisation.

"We do a lot of good things in the community, that's what Rotary's about," he said.

"One of the key projects I'm passionate about is the TuffKidz triathlon.

"I used to compete in triathlon and I wanted to introduce Ipswich kids to it."

Mr McMahon was also recognised for his ongoing commitment to Ipswich Hospice Care, for which he has served as chairperson since 2008.

Mr McMahon made it clear he had no plans to slow down any time soon.

"I enjoy it, I'll continue to be involved in the community for as long as I can," he said.

Other Ipswich residents named in the Queen's Birthday honours list include Dr Ralph Neller, June Mulcahy, Isabella Kearsley, Judith Schmidt, Vione Jorgensen, John Dredge and John Brent.

You can catch up on their stories in the QT this week.



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