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July 23, 2024 6:27 PM

Australia Day Top Honour for Anto

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BY JEM ANSHAW

Antony White has been awarded and Order of Australia for his contribution to the Upper Hunter community, something he is quite humble about receiving.

“It has been a huge honour to get this award, but I only do it for a thank you and a smile,” he said, adding that he believed there were probably thousands of people out there who deserve it more than him.

It is not a sentiment shared by those who know Anto and the incredible role he plays in his community.

He is quick to recognise the support of his wife Tina, his mother, siblings, and children who all play a part in keeping the dream, and community of Belltrees, alive.

“I just love it, I just think this is probably one of the best places on earth,” he said of his home nestled up in the mountains that has been a part of his family for generations.

“I love the history of the place, what my forbearers have done to settle here and develop it and I feel it is my time here to look after and develop it.”

He loves nothing more than getting to see the smiling faces at the Belltrees Public School sports day held each year on the property, or gathering the next generation of players for workshops and competitions which he is happy to coach for Scone Polo Club.

Belltrees Cricket Club also holds a sentimental place in Anto’s life, proud to be a former player and now staunch supporter of the team, especially getting behind annual fundraising matches they host supporting the McGrath foundation and in more recent years Where There’s A Will.

“I love the community and if I can do anything to help I will do it, I think look after thy neighbour and that is what I want to do,” he said.

From helping coordinate support initiatives with Aussie Helpers during the drought, to life-long commitments with the likes of the Upper Hunter Cutting Horse Association, Gundy Bushmans Carnival, and the Stewarts Brook RFS, Anto is involved with it all.

He is a man on a mission to make the most of his community and help the region prosper.

“I just encourage people please, put your hand up, get out there and help someone – get on these committees and volunteer because it is a wonderful thing,” he concluded.

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