King's Birthday Honours

Tuesday, 20 June 2023

Mr HAWKE (Mitchell) (16:12): Last Wednesday our nation marked the first official celebration of the birthday of His Majesty King Charles III. It's in honour of this celebration that we had the privilege of recognising and celebrating the work of outstanding Australians through the King's Birthday honours. It is the first of its kind in six decades, following the sad passing of our longest-reigning monarch, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. I congratulate all of the residents in my electorate of Mitchell who this year have displayed immense service to their community and received awards in this year's King's Birthday honours, including several members of the Mitchell community who received an Order of Australia in the General Division.

Mr Bortolo Baitieri, who is known as Tas, received an OAM for his significant service to rugby league, and it is significant service. Representing the NRL as a former player for both the Penrith Panthers—and I note that the member for Lindsay is here—and the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, he has since acted as international developer manager for the Asia-Pacific confederation. When you think about how many Pasifika players are now playing in the NRL, that's a very significant role to hold for over 20 years. Mr Baitieri has also been a member of the International Rugby League since 1998, having coached for the French Rugby League Federation, and has held various other positions with rugby league, both domestically and abroad. Like so many NRL and rugby league clubs at all grades in my electorate, we welcome the commitment from the federal government to relocate the Parramatta Eels to Kellyville. That facility is doing great work internationally and locally for rugby league in north-west Sydney.

Dr Gregory Marcar received an OAM for his service to medicine, serving the people of Western Sydney through his decades of work with Lidcombe hospital. He has further strengthened life-saving research into cardiovascular rehabilitation and drug and alcohol treatment. He has served on thousands of committees and research panels, and we thank him for his service.

Dr Michael Morris received an OAM in recognition of his lasting dedication to the Jewish community in Parramatta, leading the community through various roles since 1981. Sometimes people don't understand that there is a significant Jewish community in Parramatta; there is a synagogue there as well. I want to commend them for the community work they do and the strength of that community over many years.

Mr Jacob Jackson received a Public Service Medal for his outstanding public service in the swift implementation of the rapid antigen screening for Corrective Services in New South Wales. Through his skilful ability to procure rapid antigen tests, Corrective Services NSW has undertaken about 741,000 tests and prevented over 1,700 persons infected with COVID-19 from entering high-risk correctional facilities. Of course, I want to put my own comments on the record. Having worked with correctional facilities and immigration facilities, this was a very high-risk environment and Mr Jackson did an outstanding job.

We hold tremendous admiration for these exceptional Australians. I want to say thank you on behalf of my electorate and on behalf of all Australians. I thank you for the tireless service, the hard work and the dedication. I want to take a moment to acknowledge them in the King's Birthday awards as well.