A ‘DREAM weaver’ who has helped earn more than $3million for charity received top honours on Saturday for his work in the tourism industry and the community.
Years of hard work was recognised for Croydon’s Phil Asker in his being awarded an Order of Australia Medal.
‘‘It was very exciting,’’ Mr Asker said. ‘‘I didn’t quite believe it when I received the letter.’’
Described by his friends as a ‘‘dream weaver’’, Mr Asker was selected in part for his work in creating unique and luxury holidays through his three companies: Croydon Travel, Captain’s Choice Tour, and Antarctica Sightseeing Flights.
But it’s not all jet-setting. Philanthropy plays an important role in Mr Asker’s life with projects such as building schools in Cambodia, classrooms in Tanzania and water sanitation projects and ‘eye camps’ in India.
On trips, he’s raised money for charities and events like Clean Up Australia, Diabetes Australia and the Australian Cancer Society.
Mr Asker’s philanthropic ventures began in 1994 when he organised 190 people to take a 767 Qantas plane around Asia and Africa for 16 days, raising money for charity through raffles and auctions along the way.
‘‘On one luxury flight we auctioned off the jump seat and raised $30,000 for charity,’’ Mr Asker recalled.
With help from the Rotary Club of Croydon, his companies have raised more than $3million for charity over 19 years.
Mr Asker says he’s driven by his previous success in helping those in poor living conditions. ‘‘It’s something that I’m proud of.’’
He says he’s always had a fascination with planes, trains and ships.
‘‘My life revolved around transport and still does.
‘‘I’m lucky that I’ve always been able to work in my hobby.’’