Thursday, 13 February 2020
Statements by Members
Fairfax Electorate: Australia Day Awards
Our nation, no doubt, started the year—and, indeed, the decade—with its challenges from drought, bushfires and the coronavirus. But, rightly, we paused as a nation to celebrate Australia Day. In doing so, we paused as a nation to celebrate some great Australians who make such a contribution, and I rise today to mention three from my part of the world. I want to pay tribute to three people who were honoured in the 2020 Australia Day awards. Ken Howes was awarded an OAM for his service to youth development. The work that Ken has done with youth through the Scouts has been quite extraordinary, teaching them those life skills of teamwork, problem solving and leadership. Indeed, leadership is something that Michael Dixon knows about. He was awarded a Conspicuous Service Medal for his achievement as Squadron Sergeant Major for the 171st Special Operations Aviation Squadron. I also pay tribute to Mal Pratt, who was awarded an OAM for his support of surf lifesaving and youth development. Mal contributes so much to the likes of Bloomhill and the Maroochydore gymnastics club. Only last year he started Thrive, a youth hub, in Maroochydore.
To Ken, Michael and Mal, I say thank you for your service.