Group 4 chairman Terry Psarakis awarded Order of Australia Medal

GROUP 4 Chairman Terry Psarakis completed a family double when was awarded an Order of Australia Medal on the King’s Birthday weekend.

The 66-year-old accountant followed in the footsteps of his late father, Jim Psarakis.

“Yeah, dad received an OAM too,” Terry told G4 Media this week.

“Great to have two in the family.”

Jim Psarakis received his OAM for services to the community while Terry received his for services to sport and the community.

Sport has played a huge role in Terry’s life – playing wise and administrational as well.

Sport has taken him around the world, such as a Tamworth cricket tour to England and a historic and unique Tamworth v Tamworth (England) match.

“It’s been a huge part of my life,” he said.

“Met some great people and had some great experiences through it.”

GROUP 4 Chairman Terry Psarakis

Born in Sydney in 1956 he moved with his family to Gunnedah in 1961 and then to Tamworth.

“I’ve been in Tamworth for 60 years this year,” Terry told G4 Media.

He attended East Tamworth Public School (primary) and then Oxley High School where he completed his HSC in 1974. He then started an accounting course at TAFE before beginning his accountancy career with Trinder Scott & Davis in 1976.

He stayed there until 2002 when he started his own accountancy firm, Psarakis Accounting and has built it into a strong local company, with six staff working out of what was the Bellopoque Restaurant.

His sporting career was in football (soccer) with the East Tamworth, Police Boys Hotspurs, RSL and North Companions.

In cricket he started with East Tamworth as a 10-year-old and moved up to Police Boys.

“Played Saturday mornings and afternoons (Under 14 and 16),” he said of a junior career that also included a first-grade match.

However, playing for Police Boys he knew he was never going to play first grade as a left arm spinner with the renowned Bob Hickson the incumbent spinner.

“Bob was a very good left arm spinner,” the former left arm tweaker said.

“South Tamworth were advertising for players so Bruce Collier and I both went across.”

It started a long affiliation with Souths for Terry that brought premierships and great memories and life membership.

“I started in ’75, John Kilborn came in ’76 and then the Browne’s turned, Harry and the boys.

“We won four or five premierships. I captained the team that won in 81-82.”

There were plenty of highlights. One of those was playing fourth grade with his son James (12 at the time) when he was in his 50’s.

His administration side with Souths was as a treasurer, vice-president president.

He recognised the terms of other TDCA chairman such as Ross Taylor, Bill Dockrill, Shane Chillingworth and Bruce Skewes.

Terry’s chairmanship also extended to Central North Zone where he is a long-serving chairman (16 years) and also still serving on the NSW Country Cricket Board (14 years).

“It’s all been great, totally,” he said of all his roles as well as reflecting on the great changes in sport.

“You start off thinking you can make great changes but then work out that it’s all about working with people and make sure the game is in a good state.

“I’ve had some great mentors, Butch (Ian) Southwell, Mike Silver, John Kilborn and Brian Gainsford. John Sullivan and Bruce Whitehouse too. Ian Hogg and Paul Marjoribanks.

“It’s been a great ride. Made some great friends, sport in general is great for friendships.”

The great moments have been many and varied.

Tamworth v Tamworth in Tamworth, England was one. Tamworth winning two Country Cricket Cup under Jeff Cook and Tom Groth were others.

More recently his ascendancy to the chairmanship of Group 4 Rugby League has taken him on a similar sporting path into a new sporting arena.

And Group 4 Rugby League is in a better place for his arrival, overcoming the Covid 19 epidemic to have the local game in a strong position.

“I’d say there are at least six sides that can win the first-grade premiership,” Terry said as the local competition ramps back into view after a long weekend general bye.

Boggabri hosts Werris Creek at Jubilee Oval, Boggabri on Saturday while reigning premiers North Tamworth are at home to Kootingal as well tomorrow. Both games have huge ramifications for the makeup of the semi finals with second-placed Werris Creek heading to sixth-placed Boggabri and equal fourth-placed Norths and Kootingal matching up at Jack Woolaston Oval.

Sunday’s two games have unbeaten competition leaders Moree at home to Narrabri and Gunnedah hosting third-placed Dungowan at Kitchener Park.

WEG TOOHEYS GROUP 4 FIRST GRADE TABLE: Moree 16 (374-145), Werris Creek 14 (299-158), Dungowan 10 (299-235), North Tamworth 8 (208-174), Kootingal 8 (246-218), Boggabri 6 (218-286), Gunnedah 2 (136-326), Narrabri 0 (150-474).
Words: Geoff Newling