House debates

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Constituency Statements

Macarthur Electorate: Australia Day Awards

10:30 am

Photo of Mike FreelanderMike Freelander (Macarthur, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Today I would like to acknowledge today the hard work, determination and selflessness of those in my communities. The title Citizen of the Year is bestowed on those who have left an impressionable mark on a community and who have displayed compassion and resolve. Ms Emma McFarlane, a local lawyer who is a board member of Youth Solutions and co-founder of professional development group Victress Connection; and Mr Brett Atkins, who is the Camden Art Prize director and a volunteer firefighter, were recognised as the Campbelltown City Council and Camden Council recipients of the citizen of the Year award respectively.

Camden's Young Citizen of the Year went to Ms Rebecca Halcomb for her leadership efforts as the First Unit Leader with her local Scouts, whilst Mr Riley Tonna was Campbelltown's recipient owing to his dedicated advocacy and research on our local koala population.

It wouldn't be an Australia Day Award ceremony without our Sportspersons of the Year, with Mr Kurtis Becker being recognised by Campbelltown City Council for his efforts representing Australia at the Special Olympics World Summer Games, and Lily Hreszczuk was acknowledged by Camden Council for her efforts with the Combined Independent Schools Cricket Team and the New South Wales PSSA 12 and under cricket squad.

Camden Council recognised Turning Point Camden, a wonderful organisation that provides welfare based services for the disadvantaged, and Macarthur Lions Club for their nearly four decades worth of service to the community, as their Community Groups of the Year; whilst Zonta Club of Macarthur was acknowledged as the recipient by Campbelltown City Council for their invaluable contribution to our community. Macarthur Hoarding Disorder Resource Network received the Disability Community Contribution of the Year award from Campbelltown City Council.

Ms Gaylene Feld received the Arts and Culture award from Camden Council for her volunteering efforts since the 1970's with the Camden Art Prize, noting her efforts in expanding its knowledge and participation. She was also the principal of the primary school that all six of my children attended. This year, 2020, saw the first recipient of the newly established Environmental Citizen of the Year award by Campbelltown City Council, with the well-deserving recipient, Ms Flora Vidamour, being recognised for her efforts with Bushcare.

We too are fortunate as a community to have two Order of Australia recipients for 2020 living and working amongst us, with Mrs Pauline James OAM receiving the medal for her service to veterans, their families and to the community; and Mrs Tanya Maree Whitehouse OAM receiving the medal for her service to the community through social welfare initiatives, particularly in the area of domestic violence. Mr Mark Grant received the Public Service Medal for his outstanding work in New South Wales Department of Education with the public service in New South Wales.

I would like to once again congratulate all award recipients and those who were nominated for their tireless, remarkable efforts to better the lives of those around them. It is my belief that Macarthur is a very fortunate electorate made up of wonderful people and organisations that endeavour to make the world a better place.