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Governor-General’s official secretary is no stranger to Inverell

WHEN the Governor-General visits Inverell this week, it will feel like coming home for his official secretary, Mark Fraser.

Mark, who was appointed official secretary in 2014 after five years in the deputy role, has significant family connections to the Inverell area dating back to his great-great grandfather.

Mark Fraser (right) with the Governor-General.

Both his parents, John and Sharyn Fraser (nee Kennedy) were born here, as was his elder brother Jamie.

Mark said his grandparents were active members of the community.

“My grandfather, Doug Fraser, was part of the Fraser Brothers builders and built a lot of the infrastructure around town (including the clock tower on the main street of Tingha).

“My grandmother, Maud Fraser, was patron and life member of the Eisteddfod Society, and both were elders in the St Andrews Presbyterian church.

“My other grandmother Mary Kennedy served at the Patron of RSM Bowling Club as the chef at the RSM club for many years. My grandfather Ron Kennedy was a member of the light horse.”

Mark still has a number of cousins who live in Inverell.

“I have made many visits to Inverell over the years to visit family and always enjoyed the friendly atmosphere and wonderful environment – not to mention plenty of frosty mornings.”

He said he had lots of happy childhood memories spending Christmas Day in the backyards of his grandparents’ homes in King Street and Ross Street.

“I was recently in Inverell to lay to rest my dear Grandmother Maud Fraser, aged 95,” he said.

Before he started working for the Governor-Generel, Mark worked as the consul-general in the Netherlands and consul in Turkey.

During his career, he has been involved in major event planning including the Anzac Day commemoration in Turkey and was awarded an Order of Australia medal for his role in crisis response management following the Bali bombings.

Governor General Peter Cosgrove will visit Inverell on Thursday, after swearing in the new Turnbull Government ministry in Canberra that morning.

He will meet with several community groups throughout the afternoonbefore a civic reception is held in the evening.

“I am very much looking forward to returning to Inverell with the Governor-General,” Mark said.

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