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Monday, 13 February 2017
Page: 683


Mr RAMSEY (GreyGovernment Whip) (11:29): I am extremely proud to stand here today to formally congratulate four of my constituents, who are recipients of the 2017 Australia Day honours, plus one young man who was born and raised in Grey but has made a national headline since moving away. I also congratulate a community leader who has been a great contributor to the Indigenous community.

On Australia Day each year, we as a nation officially honour those who have made a significant contribution to our community. It is the Aussie way of saying, 'Thank you.' We recognise people for what they are doing and tell them we appreciate it.

In Australia's regional communities, people who are awarded Australia Day honours are very often cornerstones of rural life who have been recognised for their tireless work and dedication. Our honours system recognises Australians from all walks of life who have made a difference to their nation, their region and their community. From contributions to community, business and the arts, to health, research and sport, each and every person who received an award this year deserves our utmost gratitude and respect. I congratulate all the winners, particularly those from Grey, each striving to make their regional communities a better place to live.

In particular, I congratulate Sheryl Lewis, of Yunta, who was awarded an Ambulance Service Medal, ASM for her dedication and volunteer service in her community. She has been an ambulance volunteer in the mid-north region of South Australia since 1991, initially in Yunta then Jamestown and then back to Yunta, where she is currently a volunteer team leader. She provides a crucial service in what is a resource-poor environment. Her dedication, leadership and commitment has a significant impact on the region. In a tiny place like Yunta, the ambulance drivers are the front line. The ambulance drivers are the medical service, for all intents and purposes. She assists in the setting up and running of the flying doctor clinics in Yunta, and follows up local patients with routine checks and health monitoring.

Duncan Johnstone, of Port Augusta, has also been awarded an ASM. Over 46 years, Duncan has been with the St John Ambulance Service and the South Australia Ambulance Service, first as a cadet, before starting his professional career in 1985. During those years, he moved into the leadership positions of station officer and clinical team leader. Duncan is an invaluable member of the Port Augusta ambulance service.

Ian Hatcher, of Moonta Bay, has been recognised with a Medal of the Order of Australia for his significant contribution to lawn bowls. Ian has been a hard and tireless worker, dedicating many years to lawn bowls in a number of capacities.

Rosemary Stern, of Tiddy Widdy Beach, was named a Member of the Order of Australia for services to hockey. Rosemary has dedicated many years to the sport as a tournament director, administrator and official.

Jan Ferguson, an Outback Communities Authority board member, who resides part time in Beltana, received a Medal of the Order of Australia for her service to the Indigenous communities of the Northern Territory. Jan is also an enthusiastic supporter of preserving the heritage of Beltana.

Lastly, I come to a young man who has leapt to international prominence quite recently. Swimming sensation Kyle Chalmers was born and raised in Port Lincoln, but has since moved to Adelaide to follow his sport. He was recognised with an Order of Australia Medal for his services to sport. Kyle became a household name at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, where he won the gold medal in the premier event, the 100-metre freestyle, the first Australian to do so since Michael Wenden in 1968. Well done to Kyle.

I met Kyle just recently, along with his parents, whom I have known for a long time. I will say of Kyle: if he swum like a stone and sank like a brick, he would still be a son that any parent would be extremely proud of. He is extremely humble, well-spoken and well-considered. He would be a success no matter what he was doing. In this particular case, Kyle is the No. 1 swimmer in the world in the premier event. Well done to all his coaches and his schools, and, particularly, well done to his parents for raising such a well-rounded young man.

Well done to all of those people for being recognised with the prestigious honour of Australia Day awards. I also commend all the volunteers in my electorate, who work hard to make their communities a better place. Without these volunteers regional communities would be poorer places, and I am proud of every one of them.