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Monday, 13 February 2017
Page: 687

Mr GOSLING (Solomon) (11:43): I am very pleased to be speaking on this motion today, not only as a recipient of the Order of Australia but also as a member of the executive committee of the Order of Australia Association, Northern Territory Branch, but, most importantly, as a proud Territorian—someone who is very proud to acknowledge those wonderful Territorians who have recently been awarded.

They include Emeritus Professor MaryAnn Bin-Sallik AO, for distinguished service to tertiary education; Allan McGill AM, for significant service to local government in the Northern Territory and to sport and the Tiwi Bombers in particular; Ann Sheldon AM, for service to the community, particularly through Indigenous employment; Constance Lynne Spencer AM for her work for the environment and in research in the Northern Territory, an incredibly important contribution; Mr Michael Foley OAM for service to our community in the Territory; and Dr Albert Foreman OAM, for service to medicine, particularly in rural and remote areas.

Other awards in the recent lot of Australia Day awards went to Superintendent Charles Robert Farmer and Senior Aboriginal Community Police Officer Betty Herbert, who each received an Australian Police Medal. Mark Spain received an award for his service to the fire services of the Territory. Keith Hutton received an Emergency Services Medal. Captain Lomas received a Conspicuous Service Medal, a military medal.

I have left one name out, and that is because I want to make particular mention of him: our Administrator of the Northern Territory, His Honour the Honourable John Hardy. I would like to congratulate the selection panel for the Order of Australia on the brilliant decision to upgrade his Order of Australia award from OAM to AO; it is much deserved. For those who do not know what an administrator is, it is the Territory's equivalent of a governor. I was very pleased to personally congratulate John Hardy on his award at the Chinese New Year dinner on the weekend.

At that same event, I caught up with one of my colleagues from the Order of Australia Association of the NT, Dominic Fracaro, who has been a very generous man in the Territory over a number of years. It was great to catch up with Dom. Also on our executive committee are Wendy James, OAM, and Nora Lewis, AM. I want to particularly thank our chairman, Mr Tom Lewis, OAM, a naval officer and military historian. I thank Tom for his assistance in the event we are putting together here in Parliament House this Thursday to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Darwin. I also want to acknowledge the ever reliable and untiring Michael Martin, OAM, our secretary treasurer, and thank him for his support.

We have written to all the NT members of the order who have recently been given their awards to invite them to become a part of the association. I think it is worth commenting on some of the things the association does. Firstly, I thank them for their support to take this story of the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Darwin to the nation here in Parliament House on Thursday. I also want to acknowledge our grassroots work where we take kids from disadvantaged schools out and give them an experience in the bush over a weekend. They are great events. We also mentor some of the scholarship winners so that they can have a life-changing study experience at the Charles Darwin University. These are just a couple of the things that the Order of Australia Association NT branch have been doing.

I again want to congratulate not only all those who were awarded in this last round but also all those people in the community who have not been given an award in the Order of Australia but who day in, day out are giving of their time, their heart, their spirit and their generosity. I encourage people: if you see someone in the community that is doing outstanding work, giving of themselves in an amazing way, please nominate them for an award in the Order of Australia. Well done again to all those Territorians; we are proud of you.