OAM for ‘chip off the old block’
In the eyes of some, Jim Rice is a living legend for his service to others.
For Jim, however, that recognition was “a little bit embarrassing”.
Jim’s referring to his medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) which he received in this year’s Queen’s birthday honours for service to the community through social welfare organisations.
Service to youth played a key part in the award reflecting the many years Jim has been active in Menslink, the mentoring and counselling association for young men in the ACT.
He is a board member and was previously its chair and deputy chair. He is a former mentor at the Bimberi Youth Justice Centre.
Jim, 66, is an active member of Corpus Christi parish, South Tuggeranong. In 2019, he received a papal blessing for 30 years of service in the parish’s music ministry.
Despite this selfless commitment, Jim is keen to deflect attention away from himself.
“There’s thousands of people out there who do as much or more for their community and they haven’t been nominated,” he said.
“The difference is someone nominated me.”
He’s deeply thankful to those who nominated him but says others who are doing a good job should be nominated as well.
Without hesitation he would have nominated Mabelle, his wife of 45 years, who he said deserved equal recognition because they have always worked as a team.
For Jim it’s all about putting the team and others before self, a lesson he credits to his parents.
“Mum and Dad were very strong Catholics and brought us all up in the faith and that informed who I am,” he said.
“They always talked about giving being better than receiving, and that people who give are happier than people who take.”
“I’m very, very lucky to have been born into a loving family. I’m a chip off the old block really.”
For Menslink CEO Martin Fisk, this ‘chip’ is more a big block in its own right.
“He’s been a real mentor and an incredible support to me over the past decade,” Martin said.
“Jim is one of our living legends.”