House debates

Monday, 8 February 2016

Constituency Statements

Higgins Electorate: Australia Day Honours

10:35 am

Photo of Kelly O'DwyerKelly O'Dwyer (Higgins, Liberal Party, Minister for Small Business) Share this | | Hansard source

I would like to take the opportunity here in the chamber to congratulate all of the good-hearted and kind people who volunteer in my electorate of Higgins. Last year I was able to celebrate with a number of these people at a Christmas in July function to celebrate their great achievements and contributions to our local community.

The guest of honour was Sir James Gobbo, and we resolved at that point that this would be an annual event that would celebrate just how fantastic and how significant it is that people are able to give of their time and themselves to help others.

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate a number of residents within the Higgins electorate who have received formal honours and recognition on Australia Day of their service to our country and our community.

Kevin Hillier received the medal of the Order of Australia for his contribution to music through military and brass bands and as conductor of the Stonnington City Brass Band. I was absolutely thrilled by the wonderful sounds that emanated from the band that filled the Malvern Town Hall as 121 of my electorate's newest Australians were recognised as citizens of our magnificent country on Australia Day. I am also very, very honoured to be the patron of the Stonnington City Brass Band.

Five Higgins residents were made Officers of the Order of Australia: Mr Robert Kirby, co-chairman of Village Roadshow, for his distinguished service to business through the movie, cinema entertainment and theme park sectors; Brian Malon for his service to charitable and social welfare organisations; Professor Leon Mann for his work in the humanities and social sciences; Dr Michael Pryles for his work in the law and in legal education; and the Very Reverend Canon David Richardson for distinguished service to religion and the Anglican Church of Australia.

Three Higgins residents were made Members of the Order of Australia: the Hon. John Batt for his significant service to the law and the judiciary in Victoria, legal scholarship and the Anglican Church of Australia; Ian Carlisle received his honour for his work in the fields of faciomaxilliary—a very hard word to pronounce—and reconstructive surgery, to professional organisations and the international community; and Valda Walsh for her significant service to the real estate industry and the community through support for a range of charitable organisations.

I would also like to congratulate those in the Higgins electorate who received the Medal of the Order of Australia, including Leonard Bogatin for service to athletics; Robert Mattingly for service to the advertising industry and the community; Eugene O'Rourke for service to the community, particularly through multicultural media; and Janet Thomson for her service to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Victoria.

These people are all very worthy Australians who have made important and valuable contributions to our community. As I said, at the very beginning of my speech, they are but the tip of the iceberg in Higgins. There are so many people in my community who make such an enormous difference to the people in our local community and beyond, and I thank them.