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Wednesday, 13 February 2013
Page: 1252

Mr MATHESON ( Macarthur ) ( 19:00 ): Today I would like to acknowledge eight very special Macarthur residents who were acknowledged in this year's Australia Day honours list. Tanyia Harris, Michael Scarce, Dr John Schwarz and his wife Rosalie, Professor Brad Frankum and Bill Phippen received the Medal of the Order of Australia and Dr Lee Bowling and Kevin Cooper received Public Service Medals.

Tanyia Harris from Glen Alpine is the third person in her family to be awarded an OAM. Despite coming from a family of givers, it is her father who Tanyia says was a big inspiration to her while growing up. She recently told the Macarthur Advertiser that her dad would give the shirt off his back to someone if they needed it and he taught her to always help others around her.

Tanyia is a much loved member of my community. She is a member of the Rotary Club of Macarthur Sunrise, a board member of the New South Wales harness association and has been involved with Lifeline, Odyssey House and the Festival of Fisher's Ghost. In 2008 she generously donated her Dumaresq Street property to Odyssey House for its drug rehabilitation programs. She recently bought Campbelltown Ambulance Station a new medical library, furniture and equipment and paid for two marquees at Menangle Park Paceway. She is a lovely lady who has also given some of her property to the local Samoan community to run its community garden. Tanyia is one of the nicest people I have ever met and is a great asset to the Macarthur community. I know her personally and have always admired her big heart and kind and generous nature. She is a fantastic example of the great people we have living in the Macarthur region and I am so proud to see her receive this award.

Camden resident Michael Scarce was another local humbled to receive an OAM this year. Michael owns Camden Hire and received the medal for his service to the community through his business and his work with Angel Flight. Michael told the Macarthur Chronicle that the work Camden Hire does in the community is something he is very passionate about. He said that to have a business that could help others was always very important to him. Michael works closely with Mater Dei School to provide students with permanent employment close to home. His work with Angel Flight involves flying sick children across Australia from rural areas into the city for medical treatment. I love to see local businesses giving back to their community and I am so pleased to see that Michael has been recognised for his valuable contribution.

I was also proud to see Dr John Schwarz and his wife Rosalie from Elderslie receive medals for their service with the African Aids Foundation. The couple started the foundation back in 1999. It is a non-profit aid organisation that helps families and communities in South Africa and Kenya who are affected by the HIV-AIDS epidemic. John and Rosalie said it was nice to be recognised for their work but hoped their medals would raise awareness of AIDS in Africa and draw attention to its people—a very lovely couple who have dedicated their lives to helping others, for nothing in return. I feel proud to have such fine citizens living in my electorate and I admire the great work they are doing to help these children and their families overseas.

This year I was also pleased to hear that Professor Brad Frankum from the University of Western Sydney received an OAM for service to medicine as an educator and administrator. Dr Frankum has been on the board of the Australian Medical Association NSW since 2009. He is the Deputy Dean and Professor of Clinical Education, at the University of Western Sydney, School of Medicine, Campbelltown campus. Professor Frankum said he was grateful for the opportunity to live and work in the Macarthur region and was happy to contribute to our community in whatever way he could. It is something I love to hear from people living and working in my electorate. His work at the School of Medicine in Campbelltown has helped to produce 200 local doctors in the past two years—a great achievement, which he says is the result of hard work from a lot of people.

Also on the list of OAMs is Bill Phippen from Razorback. Bill was recognised for his service to people with a disability and to the community. At 62 years old, Bill is the president of Technical Aid to the Disabled, Disability Services NSW, which helps build special aids for people living with a disability. Bill is a builder and engineer by trade. He started working with the organisation 37 years ago after building a wheelchair-accessible desk for a lady who had polio. He was also very humbled and said he accepted the medal on behalf of his whole team. He told the media that he loved volunteering and found it rewarding and fun. Bill is another one of our local volunteers setting a great example for the people of Macarthur and encouraging others to give volunteering a go.

Today I would also like to congratulate Kevin Cooper from Ambarvale who was awarded a public service medal for his contribution to agricultural technology and research in the Australia Day honours. And Dr Lee Bowling, of Ingleburn, who also received the public service medal for his work in water quality and management.

I would like to congratulate all of these Macarthur residents for their outstanding contribution to our community. It is fantastic to see so many people from all walks of life helping others and dedicating their lives to some very important causes. It is people like Tanyia, Michael, John, Rosalie, Brad, Bill, Kevin and Lee who make me proud to say that I live in the Macarthur region. Although I am sure they are all humbled by this recognition, I hope their families and friends have made a big fuss of their achievements. I would like to thank them for the great work they do in my community and the fine example they are setting for other residents in Macarthur. Their community is very proud of them and they should all be very proud of themselves for the fantastic work they do.