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Monday, 13 February 2017
Page: 672


Mr LEESER (Berowra) (10:49): I move:

That this House:

(1) acknowledges the Order of Australia is the highest national honour awarded to Australian citizens for outstanding contributions to our country or humanity at large;

(2) notes that since being established by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1975, there have been more than 30,000 recipients of awards in the Order of Australia;

(3) recognises the almost one thousand recipients of awards in the General Division of the Order announced in the Australia Day 2017 Honours List who come from an array of fields including science, education, governance, business, community service and sport; and

(4) congratulates all the recipients of awards in the 2017 Australia Day Honours List.

The Order of Australia was inaugurated in 1975 to recognise Australians who demonstrate outstanding achievement or service. In the past 42 years more than 30,000 people have been received into the order. Today I would like to congratulate the recipients from my electorate who were recognised in this year's Australia Day honours list. From service in education, medicine and music to the welfare of patrons and the wider community, the recipients reflect the ability and diversity of our Berowra community. This service is an inspiration to others. Almost nothing is more valuable than a good education. The minds of the next generation of thinkers, entrepreneurs and leaders are being shaped today by some of the most dedicated members of our community.

Awarded a medal in the Order of Australia, Archibald Park from Cheltenham started out as a teacher at Eden High School in 1965. A specialist in industrial arts, since then he has taught students at Glendale, Newcastle technical, Macarthur girls, Northmead and Muirfield high schools.

For her work as an educator, teacher and mentor, as well as her work preserving and documenting Australian history and heritage, Associate Professor Carol Liston AO of Beecroft has been recognised. Dr Liston works at Western Sydney University, where she specialises in the early history of New South Wales and is also co-editor of the Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society.

Caroline Xu Yi OAM has also being recognised for her service in education to the Chinese community of New South Wales. Ms Xu Yi is the principal of the Feng Hua Chinese school, a community language school that teaches Mandarin Chinese and helps newly arrived Chinese immigrants adjust to life in Australia. Caroline is also a longstanding member of the Australian Chinese Community Association.

Dawn Nettheim OAM of Cheltenham was honoured this year for her service to music. A bassoonist, composer and arranger and a member of both the Golden Kangaroos and Beecroft Orchestra, Dawn Nettheim has also been a member of the Australian Music Centre, a former president of the Music Arrangers' Guild of Australia and a secretary of the Ryde Eisteddfod.

As president of the Inorganic Foundation at Sydney University and former president of the Royal Society of New South Wales, the oldest learned society in the Southern Hemisphere, Dr Donald Hector AM of Beecroft was recognised this year for his significant service to science, in the field of chemical engineering, and to business. Dr Hector is a former managing director of Dow and served on the Uniting Church synod and the council of Newington College.

Emeritus Professor William Maxwell AM, also of Beecroft, was recognised for his significant service to veterinary science in the field of animal reproductive biology. Professor Maxwell, of Sydney University, formerly served on the Editorial Advisory Committee, Reproduction in Domestic Animals, and received the Urrbrae Award 'for outstanding contributions to science and practice of Australian agriculture'.

Unfortunately, many Australian women will experience breast cancer in their lifetime. In 1989 the Australian mastectomy rate for breast cancer sufferers was 70 to 80 per cent. Professor John Boyages AM of Cheltenham reduced this rate through breast screening by setting up the Sunflower breast screening clinics in lingerie departments at Myer stores and in hospitals across Sydney and founded BreastScreen NSW Sydney West. Professor Boyages became the founding executive director of the Westmead Breast Cancer Institute and is now the professor of breast oncology at Macquarie University.

Also in the field of medicine, my friend Dr Roberta Chow AM is a GP who has been recognised for her pioneering developments in the use of laser therapy techniques for chronic pain management. Just last week I had a constituent call my office to express how much of a positive impact Dr Chow had had on the treatment of her pain. Dr Chow is the foundation president of the Australian Medical Laser Association.

Philip Glendenning AM of Brooklyn, Stewart Bonett OAM of Glenorie, Lynnette Molan OAM of Cherrybrook the Rev. Dr Roger Chilton OAM of Hornsby have each been recognised. Mr Glendenning works with social welfare organisations and is a strong advocate for human rights and education. Mr Bonett served as a flight engineer with the RAAF in Vietnam and has dedicated much of his life to serving veterans and their families. I met Mr Bonnet at the Glenorie markets last year and know of his dedication. Mrs Molan gives her all to the Cherrybrook community, particularly to those mourning the loss of a child and to the local Anglican Church. Dr Chilton has been the senior minister at St Swithun's, Pymble, for over twenty years.

I have had the pleasure of meeting many members of the Rural Fire Service in Berowra, particularly over this hot summer. For over 45 years James Fahey has served the communities of Hornsby, Ku-ring-gai and New South Wales with dedication and distinction. He has held many positions throughout the Rural Fire Service including, for the past 26 years, being a district group captain. Mr Fahey's service and leadership have undoubtedly saved many homes and lives. He was awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal.

There are many more members of the Berowra electorate deserving recognition for the incredible work they do every day. We should do more to acknowledge our unsung heroes. I encourage anyone who knows an Australian who is doing something special to serve our community to nominate them for recognition within the Order of Australia.