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Thursday, 21 June 2018
Page: 3682


Senator HUME (Victoria) (18:53): I rise this evening to offer my most sincere and heartfelt congratulations to those recipients of this year's Queen's Birthday honours. Those recognised in these honours are Australians from all across our great nation who have selflessly dedicated their time in pursuit of a better Australia to be shared by all. Hailing from all walks of life, they are exemplary in their leadership, their commitment and their resolve—the three pillars of the Australian spirit. These Australians have taken to heart the words of the old proverb that exhorts us to be the change you want to see in the world.

As all the members of this chamber know, I am a patriot, a monarchist and an immensely proud Victorian. As is the case year in and year out Victorians are very, very well represented in this round of Queen's Birthday honours, and I wish to wholeheartedly congratulate all Victorian recipients for the recognition of their achievements. Each and every one is so richly deserved.

More specifically, I would like to single out my congratulations and thanks to the following Victorian recipients who have so significantly contributed to and strengthened the fabric of our society through their service and dedication in their respective fields: Mr William Eldred Hennessy, of Clifton Hill, for being made a member of the General Division of the Order of Australia—AM—for significant service to music as a concert violinist, artistic director, mentor and educator; Ms Jane Ward Smith, of Black Hill, for significant service to the broadcast media industry, particularly to film and television, through administrative roles, and to the community; and Mr Christian John Zahra, of Trentham, for significant service to rural and regional development, to the advancement of Indigenous welfare, and to the Parliament of Australia.

To recipients of the OAM, the Medal of the Order of Australia, in the general division, my sincere congratulations go to two very special people, good friends of mine: Mr Michael Alexander Pointer, of Box Hill North, for his selfless service to the beef livestock industry through a range of roles—congratulations, Michael—and Mr Ian Robert Mence, of Brighton, for his unwavering dedication to the community of Brighton—congratulations, Ian.

Congratulations also to Mrs Olive Patricia Bice, of Maiden Gully, for dedicated service to the performing arts, particularly through country music; Ms Margaret Anne Brickhill, from Wangaratta, for selfless service to the performing arts and to the community of Wangaratta; Mr Patrick Thomas Cahir, of Preston, for diligent service to the community through a range of organisations; Mr Brendon John Collins, from Leneva, for industrious service to the building and construction industry; Mrs Patricia Bette Cook, of Clunes, for tireless service to the community of Clunes; Ms Yvonne June Dichiera, from Buninyong, for noble service to the multicultural community of Ballarat; Mrs Margaret Kathleen Keech, of Strathfieldsaye, for assiduous service to the community of Bendigo; Mr Ian Douglas Lawrey, from the Melton area, for admirable service to veterans and their families; Mrs Helen June L'Huillier, of Mount Beauty, for enthusiastic service to cross-country skiing and to the community; Dr Angus Ormond McKinnon, from Euroa, for meticulous service to veterinary science, particularly to equine production; Mr Ian James McPherson, of Eddington, for patient service to youth and to golf—you have to be very patient for golf, Mr McPherson; Mr Kenneth Sidney Missen, late of Eynesbury, for dutiful service to the community through a range of roles; Mr Donald Ivan Moss, from Ballarat, for hardworking service to medicine, particularly to urology; Ms Carol Lilly Muir, of Hoppers Crossing, for determined service to social welfare through advocacy roles; Ms Melita Maree Parker, from Flora Hill, for compassionate service to people with a disability through advocacy roles; Dr Graeme Alfred Pollock, of Westmeadows, for devoted service to medical research, particularly to corneal transplantation; Dr Rita Katharina Seethaler, from Taggerty, for her service to steel band music and to the community; Mr John Moore Sharwood, of Alexandra, for untiring service to the community through a range of roles; Mr Francis Patrick Sheehan, from Invermay Park, for persistent service to the community of Ballarat; Mr Neville John Sillitoe, of Coburg North, for active service to athletics; Mr Garry Clifford Taylor, from Lake Wendouree, for altruistic service to secondary education and to the community; Mr Deepak Vinayak, of Craigieburn, for uniting service to the multicultural community of Victoria; Mrs Ronda Beckley Walker, from Kyneton, for generous service to the community and to women; Mr Rodney Steven Wangman, of Baranduda, for service to local government and to the community of Albury-Wodonga; and Mr Mark Anthony Young, from Niddrie, for community-minded service to social welfare organisations and to youth at risk.

There's another great Victorian whom I'd like to take a moment to congratulate: Mr Tom O'Toole. Tom was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in recognition of his years of service to both the bakery business and the community of Beechworth. The Beechworth Bakery is an iconic business. It employs over 250 workers and has sister bakeries across Victoria. I had the pleasure of visiting the Beechworth Bakery just a few weeks ago and got a tour of the back kitchens. It was absolutely fascinating. Mr O'Toole is a wonderful example of how hard work, innovation and community mindedness meet, and he makes a mean bee sting as well!

I wholeheartedly congratulate all those who have been awarded medals for their outstanding and selfless public service. While there are too many to name them all individually, I would like to make a very special mention of just a couple: Dr Janis Louise Cocking, of North Fitzroy, for her outstanding service to Defence science and technology; and Mr Ronald Neil Beer, from Yea, who has provided 40 years of selfless and exceptional service to the Country Fire Authority, the CFA, in Victoria. Ms Bridget Ruth Ryan, of Smythesdale, has also served with distinction during her 35 years of active service in both the forest firefighting service and the CFA in Victoria.

Finally, I would also like to extend my warmest personal congratulations to two very special people. They are both friends and mentors. They are doyens of the Liberal Party and titans of business. I work alongside both of them as members of the board of the Menzies Research Centre. Firstly, I congratulate Mr Paul Espie of Darling Point for being made an officer, AO, of the general division of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the mining and infrastructure sectors through financial advisory roles, to public policy development and reform and to not-for-profit organisations—congratulations, Paul. Secondly, I would like to congratulate Ms Danielle Blain, whose service has been duly recognised in this year's Queen's Birthday honours through her appointment as a member of the Order of Australia, AM, for significant service to business and commerce, to politics in Western Australia and to women. Danielle, as federal vice-president of the Liberal Party of Australia between 2009 and 2013, has been a truly tireless supporter, particularly of women in the Liberal Party. I thank her very much for her friendship and mentorship.

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate and pay my respects to all of the members of the Australian Defence Force both here and on deployment overseas. All of the members of the ADF serve as role models for the rest of our country, with their unrivalled selflessness, their teamwork and their bravery. It is wonderful that our great nation does not take for granted the hard work, the dedication and the sacrifice of these great men and women. This evening, I would particularly like to congratulate those most recent recipients of the Military Cross, medals and commendations. Many recipients cannot be publicly named due to their ongoing operational commitments.

There are two very special times of the year in which the government and the community can express our sincere gratitude to those exemplary citizens who represent the very best of the Australian spirit. It is an extraordinary honour to be able to stand in this place this evening to name and honour those dedicated and conscientious Victorians and Australians. I thank the chamber for its time.