Thursday, 13 February 2020
Statements by Members
Bennelong Electorate: Australia Day Honours
It is once again the time of the year when we celebrate the contributions of great Australians to our national life through the awarding of the Order of Australia and other awards as part of the Australia Day Honours List. I would like to honour several of the worthy recipients of Australia Day honours from my community of Bennelong. Firstly, Ms Catherine Inglis, who has been made a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to the building and construction industry. Ms Inglis has held several senior roles in the industry. She is the current national director of the Housing Industry Association and works as a general manager of Brickworks Ltd, focusing on innovation. In addition, she has contributed to Standards Australia as a member with specialist expertise in prefabricated concrete elements. Outside of her work in the building industry, she is also a passionate ceramicist, and has been a member of the Australian Ceramic Society for over 25 years and has served as the organisation's federal president.
I'd also like to acknowledge Dr David Leece, also for his admission as a Member of the Order of Australia. Dr Leece's award has been made for significant service to the environment and to defence and security studies. Dr Leece has had a wide and varied career, which I would like to recognise in full. He has served as the assistant commissioner of the Natural Resources Commission of New South Wales, and as the executive director and chief scientist of the New South Wales Environment Protection Authority, and he has worked as a research scientist for the New South Wales Department of Agriculture. In addition to his work with the environment, he has a record of extensive service with the Royal United Services Institute of New South Wales. He has variously served as the organisation's secretary, editor and vice president, and, most recently, as president between 2013 and 2016.
I'd also like to highlight the excellent work of Mr Hassib Elias, who has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the Palestinian community of New South Wales. I've known Mr Elias personally for some years and I have always been impressed by his commitment to the community and his work to foster strong multiculturalism. Mr Elias is the founder of the Palestinian Association of Australia and president since 1973. He is also a member of the Multicultural Advisory Committee for the City of Ryde, and, perhaps most astonishing of all, he has been assisting refugees and migrants to settle in the community for more than half a century. He is a wonderful addition to our community. I am very glad that Mr Elias has been rightly recognised for his work.
Congratulations to Catherine, David and Hassib, and all others who were rightly recognised for their efforts this year.