Dr Ron Smart is receiving an OAM for service to music and Sierra Leone.
Dr Smart is the founding chairman of Auburn-2-Africa, organising events such as Australian Choral Grand Prix and Top Brass' Band to raise funds for the construction of a primary school in Sierra Leone. He has been a member of the Salvation Army Brass Band movement for over 50 years, music director of the Hollywood Tabernacle Band, Hurstville Salvation Army Band and Choir.
And conductor of Sydney Staff Songsters for a decade.
Dr Smart was founder and director of Pan Pacific Music Camps. Adjudicator of the Choir Olympics Competition in China in 2006. Artistic director of the Sydney International Music Festival for eight years. Dean of the Australian Institute of Music in the 1990's. Vice-president and board member of International Federation of Choral Music for 15 years.
He was chair of the organising committee of the World Symposium on Choral Music and World Choirs Festival in 1996. Guest adjudicator at the Pacific Basin Choral Festival in Honolulu from 1990 to 1995. Past founding president of the Australian National Choral Association. Past founding chairman of the National Council of Heads of Tertiary Schools of Music. And past council member and conductor of the Sydney Cultural Council for over 15 years.
Dr Smart was involved in the Sydney Conservatorium of Music from 1975 to 1995. He was a former head of performance studies and deputy director. The principal and conductor of the Conservatorium Chorale and Symphony Orchestra. And founding president of SCM Alumni Association.
He was also an adjudicator and board member of the World Choir Games from 2000 to 2015.
Dr Smart said he has previously received a Public Service Medal (PSM) which was also a very exciting and unexpected surprise.
"And to receive a second honour from the Australian Government is very exciting," he said.
"I am very privileged I think to have received a second award like that.
Dr Smart moved to Wollongong 11 years ago.
After being born in Australia he and his wife Janette lived in America where he studied for 11 years.
They then lived in Sydney during his time at the Conservatorium.
"I retired early to develop a new career of conducting orchestras and choirs around the world being on the boards of international music festivals in many countries," he said.
"I didn't actually retire until I turned 80 which was a few years ago.
"We love Wollongong. My mothers family all lived in Wollongong and grew up here. So I have an affinity with this city".
Dr Smart also loves the work he is involved with in West Africa.
He shared photos with the Illawarra Mercury of excited school children in Jui Village in Sierra Leone.
They had just heard the news that the Australia-2-Africa project he is chairman and chief fundraiser for is going to rebuild their school and add necessary classrooms, ablution blocks, clinic, canteen and a library.
The project is almost completed and will be opened in September by the president of Sierra Leone.