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Thursday, 23 September 1999
Page: 10481

Mr SOMLYAY (1:04 PM) —At a special ceremony held last Friday morning, 17 September, at the Coolum State High School, I had the very great honour of presenting the Commonwealth Recognition Awards for Senior Australians to the 20 successful nominees from my electorate of Fairfax. These awards were instigated by the federal government as part of this International Year of Older Persons. Every older Australian nominated can be proud that their contribution has been acknowledged and is appreciated by our community. The school hosted this important event to promote the link between young people and older citizens, and was supported in its effort by local Coolum businesses, such as Festival IGA, Stewart's Hotels and Simply Pies, which supplied food and equipment for the occasion.

I should like to record my special thanks to the Coolum State High School Principal, Warren Kelleher, and the Deputy Principal, Denise Schultz, for their generous hospitality in providing not only a venue for the presentation ceremony but also musical entertainment for guests, courtesy of the school band. The school captains, Clinton Hearne and Kellie-Lea Hey, did a sterling job in assisting me with the presentations and it was great to see so many other young people participating on such a significant occasion.

Each award recipient was assigned a year 8 student who stayed by their special guest throughout the ceremony and afterwards when the refreshments were served. It was marvellous to see them get to know each other and appreciate the things they shared, despite the differences in their ages. There can be no doubt that our Fairfax award recipients are outstanding examples of how senior Australians remain active in the community and continue to show their value and skills in a variety of fields. They were chosen by the Fairfax Electorate Selection Committee, which did a tremendous job under great pressure and time constraints: Mrs Esma Armstrong of Belli Park, Mr Jim Barker of Coolum, Mr Ray Grace of Nambour, Mrs Maggie Roper of Wilsons Pocket and the chairman, Mr Peter Hardie of Marcus Beach.

I ask honourable members to join with me in congratulating the Fairfax award recipients: Mrs Mary Bennett of Cooroy, Mrs Una Bryant of Cooroy, Mrs Joyce Coombs of Yaroomba, Mrs Edna Farrow of Bli Bli, Mrs Cecily Fearnley of Doonan, Miss Annie Haack of Cooroy, Mrs Maureen Hungerford of Nambour, Mr Clyde Kunst of Gympie, Mrs Eleanor MacLeod of Bli Bli, Mrs Betty Maher of Pomona, Mrs Iris Mitchell of Gympie, Mrs Betty Sinn of Gympie, Mrs Hazel Smith of Nambour, Mr Keith Steinhardt of Coolum Beach, Mr Arnold Tate of Mount Coolum, Mr Pat Tiley of Coolum, Mr Colin Townsend of Gympie, Mrs Greta Warner of Cooroy, Mr Raeburn Webb of Gympie, and Mrs Jean Williams of Coes Creek. Mrs Greta Warner, of Cooroy, was selected by the committee as the most outstanding local recipient of the awards. She will fly to Canberra with her daughter on 18 November to participate in special celebratory events with outstanding recipients from other electorates across Australia.