Royal award for leading light

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

South Hedland resident, doctor and charity founder John van Bockxmeer has been recognised by the royal family for his exceptional volunteer work.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II recognised Dr van Bockxmeer last week with the 45th Commonwealth Points of Light award in honour of his exceptional volunteer work establishing the charity Fair Game.

Dr van Bockxmeer is an emergency department doctor at the Hedland Health Campus. He established Fair Game in 2010 after seeing Aboriginal children in the remote Pilbara playing football with a tin can.

“It is a great honour to be named as Australia’s Point of Light recipient on behalf of my team of volunteer Fair Gamers who work tirelessly towards our vision of a fit and healthy Australia,” he said.

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“I dream of a world where my job as a doctor is seldom needed and I will keep working with a positive, tenacious, solutions-focused attitude to achieve this.

“Inequality is a difference between two people that is systemic, unfair and preventable.

“Healthy lifestyle choices are crucial to improving quality of life.

“It is a tragedy that Australians living in remote and rural areas do not have equal access to or education surrounding these.”

Fair Game Australia is a not-for-profit organisation which aims to improve the health and wellbeing of indigenous children and refugees in remote communities by delivering fitness activities, health education and recycled sports equipment.

Since 2010, Fair Game Australia has donated more than 31,000 items of recycled sports equipment to urban and remote communities, and has established a nationwide network of more than 200 skilled, culturally aware volunteer “Fair Gamers”.

British High Commissioner to Australia Menna Rawlings CMG said she was delighted Dr van Bockxmeer had been selected.

“John’s tremendous work and dedication to improving the health of all Australians is truly inspiring,” she said.

“It’s especially fitting that John is being recognised now, as the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games gets underway; his work through Fair Game Australia highlights the power of sport at a community level.”

The Commonwealth Points of Light awards recognises outstanding volunteers whose service is making a difference in their communities and whose story can inspire others to create innovative solutions to social challenges in their own communities.

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