One of Bunyip’s gems is Tony Arrigo who has been awarded the “Order of Australia” this year for exceptional service to the Bunyip Community.

Tony arrived in Australia from Italy in 1962 and has always remembered how friendly and welcoming the locals were.

Since retiring from work at the Berwick Potteries in 2007, Tony has dedicated himself to working for the betterment of the Bunyip community. He’s served on most of the committees in the town including foundation Director of the Bunyip Community Bank, 13 years as a member of the Bunyip fire brigade and 20 years as a volunteer and Board member of HillView Aged Care where he was presented with a life membership last year.

Tony’s other passion was to establish a soccer club once he retired. In 2008 he set up the Bunyip Soccer Club which started off as a rough patch of dirt. Today things are very different with club about to officially open its new $3 million dollar state of the art pavilion.

Tony served the Strikers for seven years as President and said he was very fortunate to have the assistance of his wife Carmelina, Roman Kulkewycz as Secretary and Alan Cole as Treasurer in the club’s formative years. Within two years the Strikers were playing competition in the prestigious Football Federation of Victoria Competition. The club honoured Tony with a Life Membership in 2018.

In 2016, Tony was awarded the Bunyip and District Australia Day Citizen of the Year and continues to remain well-known for his leadership. He’s always ready to help.

Tony said he was humbled and very surprised to receive the OAM. Tony always wanted to give something back to the community in acknowledgement of the kindness shown to him in 1962 – and has done so in spades.

I seek leave to table the full statement.