REVEREND Andrew Curnow has been keeping his appointment as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) a secret since December.
“No one knows yet,” the Anglican Bishop of Bendigo said.
Reverend Curnow was nominated for the honour for his significant service to the Anglican Church of Australia through leadership roles.
Reverend Curnow will accept his membership at Government House in either April or May this year.
“I think it’s (the AM) recognition for a long period of service, and not only a contribution to the church but also the wider community,” he said.
The born-and-raised Bendigo local has been an Anglican priest for 40 years and Bishop for the past 20 years.
He returned to Bendigo in 2003 after a 36-year absence.
He said he was surprised to receive the letter from the Governer-General saying he had been accepted as a member.
“It’s one of those things you can’t expect to receive,” he said.
“I’ve been part of the process of nominating other people but when I opened the envelope and realised it was for me, I was shocked.
“It was a wonderful surprise and it acts as significant affirmation of what I’m trying to do.”
Reverend Curnow has a long list of achievements and involvement in welfare organisations, including being chairman of Anglicare Victoria, Anglicare Australia and the Brotherhood of St Laurence.
He is now also focusing more on regional-based community services and organisations such as St Luke’s Anglicare and currently overseeing the extensive restoration of Bendigo’s St Paul’s Cathedral. His area of responsibility covers 30 per cent of the land area of Victoria, spanning from Bendigo to Mildura.
“I’ve tended to pull back now (from national work),” he said.
“The work here is absorbing enough. It’s enormously time consuming.
“Especially the past five years where we’ve had droughts and floods, the Anglican Church have been part of a wide community response to those crises.”