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Wednesday, 20 February 2019
Page: 14182

Mr ALEXANDER (Bennelong) (19:35): I rise to inform the House about some of the exceptional local individuals in Bennelong who have recently been recognised in the Australia Day honours for 2019. We have several recipients of senior awards, which is great testament to the quality and spirit of Bennelong's community. In the field of science, Dr Ronald Ekers of Epping has been made an Officer of the Order of Australia for his contributions to radioastronomy, scientific education and international astronomical organisations. Dr Ekers has been involved in the selection of all major radiotelescopes in Australia and South Africa since 2002. He has been a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science since 1993 and has subsequently served in several senior capacities in the academy. In addition, he has been a fellow of the CSIRO for more than 10 years and has lectured at many international universities, including both Oxford and Cambridge. He has published more than 270 scientific papers, with more than 13,000 citations—truly an accomplished career in science. I thank him for his service to our community.

Another local resident of ours has also been made an Officer of the Order of Australia: Professor Peter Robert Schofield of Marsfield. Professor Schofield has had an exceptional career in neuroscience and medical research. This includes roles as a conjoint professor in the faculty of medicine at the University of New South Wales, Chief Executive Officer of Neuroscience Research Australia and numerous roles on the National Health and Medical Research Council. He has been a leading figure in the Australian neuroscience research field for decades, and his contributions are immense. I congratulate him on his award.

I would like to give my thanks also to those who received awards for service to their local communities. Miss Rosemary Costar of West Ryde, who has taught English at St Anne's Anglican Church for more than 25 years and volunteered at the Ryde Lantern Club for just as long, has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia and is a fine example of the many hardworking volunteers who quietly work to enrich our community. I thank her for her service.

Mr William Won-Hong Seung must also be commended for his noble contributions to our community—specifically, in relation to his work with a very large and vibrant Korean community both in Bennelong and nationally. He is the founder of the Korean Australian Community Support group and a founder of the Korean festival in Darling Harbour and has previously served as President of the Korean Society of Sydney.

In a similar vein, I would also like to praise the efforts of Mr Yong Ja Lee for his recent award of the Medal of the Order of Australia for services to the Korean community. He is currently President of the Australian Korean Welfare Association and has previously served as president of the Sydney Inner West Lions Club. Bennelong is a wonderfully successful multicultural community thanks to the efforts of people like Mr Seung and Mr Lee.

Finally, I'd like to highlight one honorary member of the Bennelong community: Mr Ian Dear, who has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for services to charity. I say 'honorary member of Bennelong' because, despite living in Huntleys Cove, just outside our borders, Mr Dear has been an instrumental member of Stryder, formerly Ryde Hunters Hill Community Transport. Stryder has a very strong presence in Bennelong assisting those with mobility limitations through their transport services so they can still live independent lives. Mr Dear has been president of Stryder since 2017 but has volunteered with the organisation for over a decade. In addition, he's been very active in charity groups in New South Wales, having held senior roles in organisations such as Youth Off The Streets, the NSW State Emergency Service, Cure Cancer Australia and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. We are very lucky to have hardworking individuals such as Mr Dear in our community. His award is truly well deserved.