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Monday, 13 February 2017
Page: 842

Mr ZAPPIA (Makin) (13:07): The Order of Australia awards were introduced in 1975 to recognise Australians who made an outstanding contribution to our country. The awards have a secondary purpose as a national expression of thanks to those same people. In a similar vein, Australian and local government awards are conferred each year on thousands of local residents who are equally deserving of public recognition and thanks. Determining who should receive the awards is often difficult. I have no doubt that, over the years, many deserving people have not been recognised. Regrettably, there is a widely held perception in the community that, too often, the recipients of the major awards are people who hold senior or influential positions in society or people who have been in the public spotlight and who have been more than adequately recognised and rewarded for their contributions. It is a perception which serves to diminish the value of the awards in the minds of many Australians. For that reason, it is important that public faith is maintained in the award and that not only is the award process free of political influence but the awards are given on merit that will withstand public scrutiny. I noted the comments of the member for Gellibrand just a moment ago in respect of that, and I appreciate the points that he brought to the attention of the House.

Having said that, I congratulate the recipients of this year's Australia Day awards, and I add my thanks for their efforts in making a difference to the country and the world in which we live. Although time does not allow me to read the full citation for each of them, I take this opportunity to acknowledge locals within my electorate who were recognised in this year's awards.

Corey Dunn received an Australian Fire Service Medal. Corey, of Tea Tree Gully, has been with the South Australian Country Fire Service since 1993. He started out as a volunteer brigade firefighter with Salisbury, and then Tea Tree Gully, and has since gone on to develop curriculum and leadership initiatives, implement national work safety training packages and personally facilitate more than 30 tactical command and leadership courses across South Australia. He has been the air attack supervisor for the South Australian CFS since 2001, performing the highly demanding role in major bushfire incidents, including the Kangaroo Island fires of 2007 and the massive Sampson Flat bushfires that threatened metropolitan Adelaide in 2015.

Glenn Benham also received an Australian Fire Service Medal. Glenn, of Wynn Vale, joined the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service in 1982 as a firefighter and has progressed to the rank of assistant chief fire officer. He has been a mentor to many firefighters throughout his long career and a member of the SAMFS executive and has helped the South Australian Fire and Emergency Commission in the areas of harmonisation, modernisation and alignment. Glenn has also been doing outstanding work helping the Tongan fire and emergency service rebuild their country following major civil unrest, in which 80 per cent of the capital was destroyed by arson fires.

I also mention Charles Figallo, who was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia. Charles is a successful businessman and industry leader through his company, Basetec Services. I have known Charles for many, many years. He also serves on several industry bodies. More important is the long list of community organisations that Charles has been associated with, including, but not limited to, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Diabetes SA, the Variety SA, the Fred Hollows Foundation and Doctors Without Borders. I particularly single out Charles's role in fundraising and in having an Anzac memorial established in Malta, in recognition of Malta's assistance in caring for wounded Anzac soldiers from Gallipoli, with some 300 ultimately having been laid to rest there.

I also congratulate David Adamson, who was awarded Citizen of the Year by the City of Tea Tree Gully. In the City of Salisbury, Christopher Moore was awarded Citizen of the Year; Damien Walker, Young Citizen of the Year; and William Leslie, Senior Citizen of the Year. Yunus Noori was awarded Citizen of the Year by the City of Port Adelaide Enfield, and Kyran Dixon was Young Citizen of the Year.

I take this opportunity to recognise a local legend, Ray Goodes, who this year celebrates 60 years of service as a member of the Tea Tree Gully Country Fire Service. Ray, who turns 88 this month—in fact, in a week's time, and I wish him a happy 88th birthday!—has seen it all when it comes to fires and emergencies, including the Ash Wednesday fires in South Australia nearly four decades ago, and, more recently, the 2015 Sampson Flat fires. Indeed, when I visited the Tea Tree Gully CFS during the midst of those fires, there was Ray giving his advice and experience to the other volunteers. Ray is still volunteering, and his personal experience and knowledge is invaluable.

To all of those people, I extend my congratulations and thanks for their service to our local community.