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Monday, 26 February 2018
Page: 1994


Ms OWENS (Parramatta) (18:32): I have seen many extraordinary people awarded the Order of Australia, and this year's Australia Day recipients are no exception. I would like to congratulate all of them, but especially those in my electorate of Parramatta.

This year Greg Whitby was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his service to education in the Catholic school system as a leader, administrator, advocate and teacher. I've known Greg for many years, and it seems he's been an educator forever. He spent four years at the Rosemeadow School in the late 1980s as the head of English and history before taking on a raft of high-level roles in the Catholic education sector, including as director of schools at the Catholic Education Office in Wollongong and commissioner of the New South Wales Catholic Education Commission from 2000 to 2017. He was principal of Emmaus Catholic College Kemps Creek from 1992 to 1994, a lecturer in the Graduate School of Business at Western Sydney University from 1991 to 1998 and has chaired the Catholic Education Network since 2000.

Greg's contribution to Catholic education is astonishing and it was recognised in 2017 when he was named New South Wales educator of the year. Greg's continued work in education is about best practice and early innovation. He saw how technology could bring the Catholic school system together and in 1991 began linking Catholic schools through a small, private network which now hosts 1,000 schools. Greg has been recognised with a Papal knighthood in the order of St Gregory the Great for his outstanding contribution to Catholic education. He is a fellow of the Australian College of Educators, the Australian Council for Educational Leaders and the Australian Institute of Management. He was named the most innovative educator in Australia by The Bulletin in its annual Smart 100 awards in 2017. In the same year he was awarded the Sir Harold Wyndham Medal for his contribution to the education of young people in New South Wales. Greg is just one of the many deserving Order of Australia recipients who live and work in and around the Parramatta electorate, but the Catholic education system in our area would not be the same without him.

I'd like to congratulate Kevin Joseph Coorey of Telopea for service to the community through a range of roles, including as a member of St Vincent de Paul Society from 1951 to 2017 and a volunteer driver. He was a recipient of the diocesan medal in 2014 and has been a member of the St Oliver Plunkett parish since 1951.

Congratulations to Elizabeth Margaret Fleming of Carlingford. Elizabeth was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the community through social welfare organisations, including as the coordinator of Wayside Chapel Crisis Centre from 2000 to 2008, where she was also a volunteer for five years. She was also a volunteer at the Emu Plains Corrective Service Centre, in the Mother's and Children's Unit, since 2000, has volunteered with Streethearts since 2008 and has been a committee member for the Friends and Families of Missing Persons for years. What a great contribution, Elizabeth.

Dr Friedbert Kohler of Carlingford was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his services to rehabilitation medicine. Dr Kohler was a key figure in the planning and construction of the Braeside Hospital, Prairiewood, in the early nineties before it opened in 1996 and is now the director of medical services, providing services in rehabilitation, palliative care and older persons' mental health. He has served as the director of rehabilitation medicine at Braeside, Liverpool and Fairfield Hospitals since 2004 and is a member of the Australian Society for Geriatric Medicine and the Stroke Society of Australasia. Dr Kohler is also the president of the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics.

Kenneth William Bock of Carlingford was awarded for his service to his community. Kenneth has been involved in the New South Wales Branch of the Australia-Britain Society as the treasurer since 2006 and as the president from 2010 to 2014. He is a life member and honorary auditor for the Friends of St George's and Descendants of the Knights of the Garter, Freemasons United Grand Lodge of New South Wales and the ACT, and he has been a member of the Eastwood Masonic Centre since 1962, holding a number of roles. Kenneth has also volunteered as an announcer and presenter for Radio 2RPH for over 20 years, and has been a diocesan reader with the Anglican Diocese of Sydney for over 40 years, as well as being actively involved with the Anglican Parish of Epping.

Joseph Weiyin Chan received a Medal of the Order of Australia, in the General Division, for service to the Chinese community of Western Sydney. Joseph has been a member and vice-chairman of the West Sydney Chinese Christian Church since 1980 and chaired the board of the Church of Christ, Western Sydney, from 2002 to 2016. In addition to his work as a radiologist, he is a member of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists and works with Christian based family associations.

To all of this year's recipients, congratulations and thank you so much. Your contributions over many years are thankfully received. I thank you for your service to my community and our country.