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Thursday, 19 June 2003
Page: 17078


Mr JOHNSON (4:35 PM) —Last week, on Friday 13 June, I had the privilege of hosting the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, the Hon. Danna Vale, in my electorate of Ryan. It was a wonderful occasion. Everyone who met her gave me feedback that they very much enjoyed her company and that they acknowledge the contribution that she makes to her portfolio. The minister was kind enough to take part in a number of significant community events, five in total, that involved Ryan's very dynamic and vibrant veteran community. I want to talk about two in particular. Saluting Their Service is the one I wish to focus on in the parliament tonight. The Saluting Their Service presentation ceremony honours two very important groups in our local community. The first group consists of the national service medal recipients. As all those in this parliament will be aware, the Commonwealth government has introduced this very special commemorative medal. A huge number of our fellow Australians are eligible for these medals and have already made contact with various government offices. A significant number of them are in my electorate of Ryan. I wish to pay tribute to them for their contribution to our community and to our country in earlier decades.

I think it is appropriate that we mention their names for the record. It is important that every member of this parliament in their various constituencies takes the time to acknowledge the contribution of our fellow Australians. Those in my electorate of Ryan are Mr Angus Catchpole, from the suburb of Oxley; Mr Barry Cooley, from Bellbowrie; Mr John Ford, from Jamboree Heights one of the centenary suburbs; Mr Colin Gilmour, from Jindalee, another of the centenary suburbs; Mr Philip Irwin, from the Gap; and Mr Ross Thompson, from Brookfield. It is a good spread of suburbs in Ryan. I want to particularly mention Mr Barry Cooley because his son is a member of the Royal Australian Air Force. I know that he is very proud of his son. He spoke of the work that his son does in our Air Force. He is a fighter pilot who also flies a Caribou and is an instructor. He is one of those whom I know all members of this parliament will be very proud.

I also want to mention another group of very special Australians, very special Ryan residents, who the minister had the opportunity of meeting. These residents were recipients of the special certificates of appreciation that the Commonwealth government has put together. Mrs Mavis Anning was recognised for her efforts during World War II. She lives in the suburb of Toowong, and I have had the privilege of meeting Mrs Anning previously. Mr Charles Furlonger, from Riverhills, is a Vietnam War veteran. Dr Barry Smithurst is also a Vietnam War veteran, from the suburb of St Lucia. Mr Reg Lobegeiger, who lives in Bellbowrie, served in the Malayan Emergency. I know that the minister enjoyed meeting them very much and enjoyed hearing some of the stories and some of the tales that they had to recount to her.

It is also important to pay tribute to those who contribute to community services such as this. I want to pay tribute to those who made it possible for me to do this in the Ryan electorate. No community event can take place without the generosity of community organisations and the staff of the various community groups in our electorates. On this occasion last week, Mr Adam Miller, a very young Australian, performed the Australian anthem at the ceremony. He performs with Opera Queensland, and his rendition of the Australian anthem was exceptional. I know that all those present thoroughly enjoyed his talents. I also want to acknowledge Mr Steve Francis from the Jindalee State School, who very kindly provided us with the lectern and the props that we used for the occasion.

The venue was the St Lucia Bowling Club in the Ryan electorate. This is, I think, the third or fourth occasion that I have had the opportunity of using the St Lucia Bowling Club. I again in this parliament acknowledge their generosity and salute Mr Russ Davidson, who is the Secretary of the St Lucia Bowling Club, for his kindness in allowing me to bring the minister and other Ryan residents to the venue. I again thank the minister for her time and acknowledge in this parliament that the veterans of Ryan very much appreciated what she had to say and learning about her portfolio and the great things that she is doing on behalf of the Commonwealth government. (Time expired)