Thank you (Deputy Chair) –

Thank you also to the Member for Berowra for bringing forward this motion and offering us an opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge the extraordinary members of our community who were recognised on Australia Day in the Honours list.

In an age of cynicism, it can sometimes be easy to forget the thousands of people out there working to make our country a better place.

The Australia Day Honours list offers not only an opportunity to recognise extraordinary service, but also to set a standard, inspire us all to do better, to be better.

Our local Medal of the Order of Australia recipient for 2017 was Dorothy Reading.

Dorothy was recognised with this prestigious award for her many years of service to cancer prevention programs such as Quit, PapScreen Victoria, and BreastScreen Victoria.

Her long term and ongoing dedication is an inspiration to all those who know her. Despite all her commitments, she always has time to volunteer. She’s tireless, offering advice and support to those who need it.

I am very proud to know Dorothy. She is a true activist, a true comrade.

Four Batman locals were this year appointed as Officers of the Order of Australia for their contributions and outstanding service to the community, Professor Ian Johnston, Professor David Laurence Vaux, Mr Ahmed Fahour and Mr Roland Elias Jabbour.

Their contributions range from work in engineering, to medicine, industry and multiculturalism.

Professor Johnston was recognised for his distinguished service to engineering, as an academic, researcher, practitioner and consultant, particularly in the fields of structural foundation engineering and geothermal energy.

Professor Vaux has provided dedicated service to medicine in the field of biomedical cancer research, to higher education as an academic and mentor, and to professional integrity and ethics.

Mr Roland Elias Jabbour has provided significant contributions to Australian industry and indeed more broadly to Australian-Arab relations.

Finally, Ms Helen Norma Evans was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia for her incredible work in service to global health as an advocate for the improved treatment of infectious diseases in underprivileged populations, particularly for women and children.

Her work has reached beyond our community, Deputy Speaker, beyond the borders of our nations to change the lives of others across the globe.

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate those in  my local community who were awarded Darebin Australia Day Awards.

These awards recognise outstanding talent and extraordinary contribution to the local community.

Citizen of the Year was awarded to Rossella D’Arienzo.

Rosella has been a dedicated volunteer at St Gabriel’s Primary School for 17 years, helping students struggling with English to enjoy their time at school and reach their potential. In a highly diverse, multicultural electorate like Batman, it’s people like Rosella, committed to helping and welcoming migrants that makes it the best place to live.

Young Citizen of the Year was Lucy Grage-Perry, for her work with Parkside Netball Club, while Millbrooke Calisthenics Club was named Community Group of the Year.

Congratulation to the recipients of the Order of Australia and the Darebin Australia Day awards, thank you.

And thank you also to all those in the community who volunteer, support, organise, advocate, educate and work tirelessly, often without recognition, for the betterment of our community and our nation.

They are the backbone of our community, they are the backbone of every community, and we are grateful.

13 FEBRUARY 2017.

(Cover picture: Citizen of the Year, Rossella D’Arienzo – Preston Leader, Josie Hayden)

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