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Wednesday, 17 June 2009
Page: 6396


Mr SIDEBOTTOM (9:48 AM) —Today I would like to highlight the contributions of four notable people from my region of north-west Tasmania who were all recognised recently as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. I would like to begin with Smithton’s Gerald Kay, known more affectionately locally as ‘Barrel’. Mr Kay has been tireless as a fundraiser in what he describes as the best community in Australia. The locally born and bred pharmacist has led two major fundraising drives in the past 20 years. The first raised a massive amount to build a new aged-care home in the town. The second was another big effort to build a new community recreation centre. I note that he managed to get $820,000 out of this government for the second stage of the project—well done!

Another remarkable achievement is that of Devonport man Walter van Praag, who, despite being born with cystic fibrosis, has stunned the medical community and, indeed, many who know him. In 2007, Mr van Praag cycled from Paris to Istanbul, a mere 4,395 kilometres, with the aim of raising awareness of the disease and inspiring newly diagnosed patients to live their lives to the fullest. He is now planning to cross the polar ice cap in Greenland on skis and will do it with an Order of Australia on his back.

Devonport’s Deputy Mayor, Maurice Hill, is a tireless worker for the community and was recognised for his extensive service through Rotary and local government. Maurice says he is a very lucky man to live in my neck of the woods after seeing, through Rotary projects overseas, the way others live. Maurice is a genuine leader, is a past Rotary district governor and is very well respected across the community. Unfortunately, he is experiencing bad health at the moment and I, along with our community, wish him well in his battle.

The fourth person from my region to be recognised in the honours is Ulverstone’s Ken Monson, who at the age of 73 is not winding back on his service. Ken has spent countless hours working in the community, particularly to help young people. He has been a vital cog in groups such as the Ulverstone Scouts and the Ulverstone Rowing Club as well as being on the Tasmanian Rowing Council. Ken has also worked for the Ulverstone museum, Rotary, the former Ulverstone Tourist and Progress Association and other sporting clubs. Despite a recent hiccup with his health, Ken says he is back at it and will continue to give 100 per cent. I am very happy to recognise, as our community did, these four outstanding contributors to our community and I wish them well into the future.