Monday, 18 February 2019
Robertson Electorate: Australia Day Awards
I rise to pay tribute to some outstanding citizens in my electorate of Robertson who were recently awarded and honoured as part of the Australia Day 2019 community awards. I know that none of these recipients do their work for praise, recognition or awards, but I would like to acknowledge some of the individuals who have helped to make the Central Coast one of the best regions in the best country in the world. The 2019 Australia Day awardees are a mix of individuals from across the arts, sports, media and volunteer communities in my electorate.
I would like to begin with the 2019 Central Coast Council Citizen of the Year, Yvonne Crestani, who has been recognised for her work with radiologists, cancer patients and their families. For more than 10 years her tireless work has helped to raise over $200,000 in funds for our local community, which has helped to provide educational opportunities for medical experts on the Central Coast. From what started out as small garden parties to raise funds in honour of her late husband, Chris, who was a respected chief radiation therapist at St Vincent's Hospital, who sadly succumbed to cancer in 2006, these functions have grown into beautiful twilight soirees held at the Gosford Regional Gallery, which I've been honoured to be able to attend. Yvonne's continued commitment to expanding her scholarships to train all cancer health workers, including additional nurses, is truly inspirational. We thank Yvonne for making a difference in the lives of those people who are undergoing cancer treatment.
Another Australia Day award recipient I wish to pay tribute to is Brad Cardis, who received the 2019 award for Arts, Culture and Entertainment. Brad and his wife, Bianca, have been determined promoters of the Central Coast region, giving opportunities to local small businesses, upcoming musical talent and artists at community events and fairs throughout the year. Anyone who's visited the Central Coast in recent years would know about or would have been to the Avoca Beach markets, which are run every fourth Sunday of the month. These multi-award-winning markets have become the place to go for local businesses who want to sell their produce and the incredible artists who share their talents through live performances on the main stage. Other events that Brad and Bianca run include Central Coast Comicon, Day on the Farm at Eastcoast Beverages and the Central Coast Christmas Fair at Mount Penang Gardens. I congratulate Brad on his well-deserved honour and look forward to being at the Avoca Beach markets this coming Sunday.
I would also like to recognise Debbi Lalor for the work that gained her the Business Connecting Communities Award; Phil Walker, as the winner of the Community Service and Activity Award; Sharon Baxter and Robert Powell, as joint winners of the Community Volunteer of the Year Award; Lyndall Parris for her Environmental Award; Isabelle Kelly, as Sportsperson of the Year; and Deen Rad, who received the Youth of the Year Award.
There are a number of residents from my electorate of Robertson who were on the Australia Day Honours List for their service to the local community. Dave Thompson of Umina Beach was awarded an AM for his outstanding service to surf lifesaving at local, national and international levels. Dave has been a proud member of the Ocean Beach Surf Life Saving Club since 1977 and was instrumental in the organisation of the lifesaving world championships in Geelong and Lorne in 2001. In addition to all of his board and executive positions, Dave's an ambassador for Life Saving Chaplaincy Australia, where he's able to provide guidance and support to members, families and supporters of the lifesaving community.
Also recognised for his service to surf lifesaving was Bill Cook of St Huberts Island. Bill received an OAM for his membership of Umina Beach Surf Lifesaving Club since 1993, where he's combined service on the club's executive with volunteer work with the Ettalong Pelican Masters Swimming Club and the Rotary Club of Woy Woy.
Another AM recipient on this year's honours list was Dr Andrew Browning of Copacabana, who was acknowledged for his service to the international community through the provision of obstetric care to women in Africa. Dr Browning is a trained obstetrician and gynaecologist who has worked in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Rwanda, to name a few. Andrew has been involved in the care of over 10,000 people in seven African nations, with many of his patients from war-torn communities and in dire need of medical treatment.
Finally, Ken Austin of Green Point was awarded an OAM for his service to the community; in particular, his work as an executive member of the Rotary Club of Gosford North. He's been a member of the Rotary club for 36 years and was a founding member of the Nepal Dental Project in 1992, which was an initiative of Rotary Australia.
To all those on the Central Coast who received Australia Day awards and honours in 2019: I congratulate you on your richly deserved recognition for the work that you do not only in our local community but in many communities across Australia and abroad.
Question agreed to.
House adjourned at 19:58