Graeme Baker, Queen's Service Medal
Graeme Baker of Whanganui has been awarded the Queen's Service Medal (QSM) for his services to the community.
Baker has held governance roles in the Whanganui community with the Cancer Society and Master Electricians for a number of decades.
"I'm a great believer in good governance and think I have developed a very clear understanding of what it means," he said.
"In a governance role you don't interfere with the operation of an organisation – you're there to enable and support those who are in that role."
Baker has been actively involved with the Cancer Society for more than 16 years, including as a service volunteer, event sponsor and fundraising volunteer.
He was elected to the Central Districts Working group in 2010 and led the centre through a significant change to their model of work.
In 2011, he was a key supporter of a governance alliance project to link centres into a single central districts division that could be recognised nationally.
He became chair of finance for the Whanganui Rangitīkei Waimarino Cancer Society in 2006 and president in 2016.
From 2018 he chaired the finance and risk committee and was elected vice president in 2019.
Last year he was made a life member of the central division of the Cancer Society in recognition of his long years of voluntary service.
"I first became involved with the society when my wife Marie was diagnosed with cancer and I became a service volunteer with the local centre while supporting her on that journey," he said.
As an electrical contractor, Baker has been a committee member of the Whanganui branch of the Electrical Contractors Association New Zealand since the 1990s and has since served as a branch delegate, councillor and branch president.
He is a founding member of the Master Electricians' Education Trust.
Baker along with Marie has held numerous governance roles with a range of other organisations, including the Rotary Club Whanganui and the Royal Life Saving Society New Zealand.
Marie was awarded her own Queen's Birthday Honour gaining the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to lifesaving and swimming in 2018.
Baker was born in Sydney, Australia where he met Marie.
The couple moved "back home" in the 1980s to live a quieter life and start a family.
"I love it here and I love the work that Marie and I do together to give back to the community.
"We have supported each other in everything we do and I wouldn't be where I am without her."
Baker said he was humbled to receive his honour.