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Tuesday, 25 February 2014
Page: 757


Mr NEUMANN (Blair) (13:47): Few in the electorate of Blair have been surprised by the contribution of Pastor Mark Edwards of the Cityhope Church in Ipswich and the things he has done for the whole city. In January this year Mark Edwards was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to the church and the community of Ipswich. He thoroughly deserved it. On behalf of the residents of Blair I warmly congratulate him. I am proud to call him my friend. Well done, Mark.

Mark was working as a successful lawyer in Ipswich before answering God's call in 1991. He changed his life—selling his private practice and becoming senior minister at his church. Under his leadership the Cityhope Church has grown into a vibrant and significant church in the region. When the 2011 floods hit Ipswich, Mark Edwards led Cityhope's tremendous response, looking after senior citizens at the church flood evacuation and recovery centre. Mark is a life member of the Ipswich region's chamber of commerce and has chaired the ethics and advisory boards of numerous local health and educational authorities. He has served his religious denomination at the state and national levels.

The contribution of the Edwards family to Ipswich has been significant. His grandfather Roy started RT Edwards and served as a councillor on the Ipswich City Council. I know his cousin Gary. I played football with him and attended church gatherings with him as a young fellow. I also know his uncle Tom. His father is Sir Llew Edwards, the former Treasurer and Deputy Premier of Queensland. He is a thoroughly good bloke. His only small failing is that he represented the Liberal Party! (Time expired)