OAM for local couple

Former Blyth resident, Jack and Gwenyth Crombie were both honoured with Order of Australia Medals for their service to the Indigenous Community of South Australia.

Former Blyth resident, Jack and Gwenyth Crombie were both honoured with Order of Australia Medals for their service to the Indigenous Community of South Australia.

When you complement one another, wonderful things can happen.

For Gwenyth and Jack Crombie their racial mixture has helped to transform the lives of people around them.

While they've lived throughout South Australia and Northern Territory, the pair have also resided in Burra and, most recently, in Blyth - they've just returned to Coober Pedy.

Both Mrs and Mr Crombie were awarded Order of the Australia Medals in this year's honours list, for Service to the Indigenous Community of South Australia.

It all began when Mrs Crombie made her way to Katherine and then Coober Pedy from Victoria.

As a nurse, in 1986, she set off for six months' of work - 14 years later she was still there.

For Jack Crombie, he is not only a well-known tracker, but as a king of the rodeo throughout circuits in Western Australian, Queensland, Victoria, NSW and South Australia.

He also served, and still does today, as a Community Police Aide, Antikirinya/Yankantjarra Tribal Group, and was a sergeant in South Australia Police for nine years.

Mrs Crombie said it was a huge honour to have both been awarded the OAM and they were thrilled to bits about it.

She said the work they did they never expected anything in return.

"The recognition that we get is when we managed to make a difference in some one else's life," Mrs Crombie said.

The pair have worked in remote communities, as well as urban landscapes to help Indigenous with their needs.

From helping people reenter civilian life after serving prison time, to assisting with communities getting the aid they can, they've helped countless people of all ages.

Mrs Crombie, a white lady, and Mr Crombie, a full blood Aboriginal of the Yankunytjatjara people worked together to get the best results for the communities they worked in.

Mrs Crombie said it was the crossing of cultures which had the positive impact wherever they went.

Mr Crombie would know people in the communities, while Mrs Crombie would be able to get the necessary services to help them.

The pair have been members of many community groups as well as the Red Cross.

While the pair may have moved back to Coober Pedy, there's a part of Mr Crombie that's been left behind for people to enjoy.

He had a dream of displaying and sharing his artifacts and paintings collected along his journey. To help this dream become a reality, Mrs Crombie's daughter Debbie Hatfield opened a gallery in Blyth called Dingo Dreaming - dedicated to Mr Crombie's collection.

The gallery is open for people to wander and learn all about Aboriginal culture.