QUEEN'S BIRTHDAY HONOURS
Michael Bassingthwaighte returned home from a holiday in Ireland to a big pile of mail.
Bills, statements, and a letter saying that he'd been nominated as a Member of the Order of Australia.
"I was checking my mail and there was a letter from the Australian government. That was nice to come home to," he laughed.
"It was a huge surprise."
Mr Bassingthwaighte has been CEO of Peoplecare since 1982, playing a significant role in furthering the scope of not-for-profit health insurance in the region and beyond.
He has served as director and chair of a number of health services' boards and companies including the Illawarra Business Chamber.
He was named Illawarra Business Person of the Year in 2010 and a life member of his industry association along the way.
But Mr Bassingthwaighte, father of music and TV star Natalie Bassingthwaighte, says he has loved his job because of his engagement with the community.
"The proudest moments have been the opportunity to be part of an organisation with a proud history in the region," he said.
"We [Peoplecare] do a lot for the community. I've valued being able to further the strength of the not-for-profit health insurance sector. I think I've got the best job in the Illawarra," he said.
He holds positions with the University of Wollongong, the Australian Health Service Alliance and Defence Health, but said he had no plans to slow down.
"I enjoy the community spirit, especially in business, in the Illawarra," he said.
"There's lots of good collaboration and camaraderie in the area.
"There's a bit of life left in me yet."
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