Queen's Birthday Honours and Safeheart Initiative

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Mr HAWKE (Mitchell—Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection) (10:03): Last Monday was a special occasion, as we marked the official celebration of the 91st birthday of our longest reigning monarch, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. I can think of no better way to do that than to celebrate and recognise the best and brightest amongst our community with the awards that the Queen issues. I congratulate and commend several upstanding recipients from the electorate of Mitchell.

Mike Blair received the Order of Australia Medal for his outstanding service to local government and the community of Baulkham Hills, having served as a councillor and deputy mayor. He founded the Tour de Hills Bicycle Classic, has been president of the Rotary Club of Castle Hill for a long time and has been involved in helping victims of domestic violence through the Lisa Harnum Foundation and The Sanctuary.

Barry Gobbe received an OAM for his exemplary 42-year service as a paramedic, and as a first responder in the Granville train disaster, the history of which he has since fought to preserve. It would be remiss of me not to mention Barry's work in cofounding Western Sydney Homeless Connect, and Blue House Juvenile and Homeless Refuge and commend him on his work with The Children's Hospital at Westmead.

Beverly Dykes received an Order of Australian medal for her immeasurable contribution to the local community through her work in the Parramatta family law courts and the Anglican Board of Mission, just to name a couple.

Graham Towle received his Order of Australia medal for his dedication and passion, having given countless hours to Swimming New South Wales, Swimming Australia and the McCredie Park aquatics club.

Guruswamy Jayaraman received an OAM for his service to the Indian community of Western Sydney, one of the largest diasporas of Indian people in Western Sydney, which is of course right near my electorate and the largest Sikh temple in Australia in Riverstone.

I thank Kellyville local Ken Murphy AFSM, who received the Australian Fire Service Medal for 33 years dedicated service to firefighting. I must also mention Dr Paul Byleveld, who received a Public Service Medal for his efforts, both in Australia and overseas, to improve water quality.

The admiration that we have for these fine individuals, these Australians, and for their selfless energy and passion goes without saying. They are the foundations of what makes Australia such a great place to live. They are people who succeed in their professional endeavours, who look after themselves and their families and who spend all of their lives in dedicated service to the community by that pure voluntary instinct that says we want to do it not because we are compelled by the government, not because we believe that we have to, but because we want to help others, we want to serve others, and we want to ensure that our community is a great and safe and secure place. These people are what makes the fabric of our society so strong. They give up their time. They give up their effort. They dedicate themselves with no thought of reward to serve the causes that they choose to work with. We are so grateful to them for the countless hours that they put in.

I also want to just take a moment to welcome the SAFEHEART initiative in my electorate. That is a collaborative initiative between the Lisa Harnum Foundation and the Make Bullying History Foundation. It is a fantastic initiative in my electorate, and I am looking forward to seeing it do so much to help women escape domestic violence in the north-west of Sydney.