Australia Day Awards

Wednesday, 15 February 2023

Mr HAWKE (Mitchell) (09:35): It's a privilege to rise today to speak about some of the significant achievers in my electorate in the Australia Day honours. Australia Day, of course, is widely celebrated in Mitchell and in north-west and Western Sydney. Whether reflecting on Australia's history or marking our successes as a modern nation, it is a well-received and supported day. To all the residents who achieved Australia Day honours I want to pay particular tribute, starting with Mrs Rosemary Derwin AM, for her services to the Girl Guides for over 35 years in New South Wales, United Nations Women, the Kenthurst Rural Fire Service and involvement in our community organisations in Mitchell, including the Hills Community Medical Equipment Pool, a fantastic service that provides medical equipment to many needy people; her Anglican Church; and, of course, the White Ribbon campaign.

There was the late John Moxon AM. His family, of course, are so proud of his service to community health and people with physical disability. He worked for many years in the Parramatta City Council Access Advisory Committee and was a well-known figure in Parramatta, and for the Physical Disability Council of New South Wales and Physical Disability Australia, where he was a founding member. He helped people with spinal cord injuries, working with Spinal Cord Injuries Australia and People with Disability Australia, and, of course, he did so many other things. It's very difficult in this time to remark on the life of the late John Moxon.

Mrs Jacqueline Dominish OAM was recognised for her service to health administration. She was in the Ministry of Health for about 20 years and worked very hard in health, whether it was in the UK or in New South Wales for over 10 years. We thank her for her service.

Andrew Golgini received the Australian Corrections Medal. He pioneered forensic cleaning in corrections during COVID, a very difficult time for corrections facilities around Australia managing prisoners through a very difficult medical pandemic. He was instrumental in ensuring COVID wasn't as bad as it could be within corrections facilities.

I want to pay particular tribute to Mark Harris PSM for his outstanding public service to education. He drives outcomes at Auburn North Public School. He's been a teacher for 40 years, 20 of them as principal at Auburn. He's a bedrock in the Auburn community. He lives in my electorate and works so hard for the kids from socioeconomically disadvantaged areas. The education minister has written to us, noting to all colleagues that there are very few teachers nominated for awards each year, and I'm very proud to have one from my electorate in the Australia Day honours this year. Mark Harris is an outstanding educator and person who works so hard for the community of Auburn. I welcome the education minister's call for all of us to nominate more teachers to make sure that there are more honours awarded in the Australia Day Awards to teachers around the country.

I also want to commemorate and acknowledge all of the Australia Day Award winners from the Hills Shire councils, which has some great community groups. In particular this year, there is the Hills SES unit. The last few years have been some of the hardest in the unit's history, as they have been around the country. They are a volunteer based organisation all through the north-west, dealing with the bushfires in the Hawkesbury for a long time, visiting the floods in Lismore and doing everything they can all around the country. It is welcome, and I commend the Hills SES for their great service to Australia.