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Monday, 13 February 2017
Page: 836

Mr FALINSKI (Mackellar) (12:43): What an honour it is to stand here today and congratulate those amongst us that have made an outstanding contribution to my own community and the nation at large. There is no shortage of men and women who go above and beyond on the northern beaches, be it in science, education, government, business, community service or sport. We are a people that get involved, not relying on others. We roll up our sleeves and give things a go.

The hard work of 14 Mackellar residents was recognised in the 2017 Australia Day Honours. Dr Christopher Graham Roberts from Warriewood was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for his distinguished service to science and the development and commercialisation of medical biotechnology. Amongst other things, he has worked with the cochlear implant program—and the management of respiratory conditions has been instrumental in the Australian medical science field. He was the chief executive officer of Cochlear, and a non-executive director of ResMed and Research Australia.

Janette Ailsa Davie from Palm Beach was made a Member of the Order in recognition of her significant service to the tourism sector through executive and advisory roles with travel industry associations and the community. President of the Visit USA Organisation Australia, she has represented travel agents and tour operators and is actively contributing in our community.

Melinda Maree Gainsford-Taylor from Collaroy Plateau became a Member of the Order in recognition of her work as a role model for young athletes and her contribution to the sport of athletics as a nationally and internationally ranked sprinter. Spending significant energy in giving back to the sport, Melinda continues to coach Little Athletics and was chosen as ambassador for the Road to Rio mentoring program.

Russell Grant Hammond, who resides in Bayview, joined fellow Members of the Order for his significant service to the performing arts and professional associations, particularly to music, as a conductor and administrator.

Christine Julie Hopton from Clareville, as president of the Avalon Surf Life Saving Club—her contribution to surf lifesaving and passion for empowering women and girls was recognised with a Medal of the Order. Robert John McInerney, who lives in Newport, also received a Medal of the Order for his contribution to surf lifesaving and for his service as chair of the Veterans' Centre for Sydney Northern Beaches.

Anne Marie Salvador from Beacon Hill, who has served the international community through numerous humanitarian programs, received the Medal of the Order. As founder and coordinator of Network Heaven, Anne supports orphanages and street children in Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Romania, Moldova and Zimbabwe.

Finally, I would like to recognise an inspiring group of girls who took a non-existent team to the highest possible achievement in sports, winning a gold medal at the Rio Olympics. What an extraordinary feat in sportsmanship. Ellia Green and Shannon Parry from Dee Why; Alicia Quirk, Emma Tonegato and Chloe Dalton from Mona Vale; and Amy Turner and Sharni Williams from Newport: you proved that tenacity and teamwork can get you to the very top—and, best of all, you beat the Kiwis in my favourite sport, rugby. You represented Australia, you united a nation and you made us proud. With your teammates, you will continue to inspire young boys and girls on the beaches and across the country in years to come.

I wish to thank all of those who were recognised here today. You have, and continue to demonstrate compassion, civility, dedication, courage, kindness, tolerance and energetic ambition. Thank you also to all the anonymous men and women who work tirelessly for the benefit of our entire community. You are an inspiration. There is no greater value to our younger generation than role models and to see firsthand people who put others before themselves. It is an absolute privilege to represent the Northern Beaches where there are so many of you.