House debates

Friday, 12 June 2020


Hollindale, Mr Gary, Hunter, Ms Rachel

4:35 pm

Photo of Bert Van ManenBert Van Manen (Forde, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Across all the electorates represented in this place, we have wonderful community champions who do so much to make our communities wonderful places to live in, and the electorate of Forde is no different, with a truly terrific bunch of people who do an enormous amount of hard work. In this regard, I'd like to recognise the efforts of two very special constituents in Forde, Rachel Hunter and Gary Hollindale, who were recognised and acknowledged, quite rightly, in the Queen's Birthday honours. Rachel was awarded a Public Service Medal for outstanding public service to the community of Queensland, through a range of roles, and Gary was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the community of Beenleigh.

Gary is a born-and-bred Beenleigh local who I've had the great pleasure of working with over the years in his various roles, at the local Rotary club, the historical society and the men's shed, of which he was a founding committee member in 2016. His long years of service on many boards and community groups in and around the Beenleigh area have undoubtedly changed the lives of many and inspired many more to give back to the community in which we live.

Gary's long history of service to the community began way back in 1973, when he joined the Apex club of Beenleigh, where he was treasurer the following year. In 1986 Gary joined the Rotary club of Beenleigh, where he quickly rose up the ranks to become the president in 1990-91 and 2014-15. Gary also held many other leadership positions in Rotary over the years and continues to do so, currently serving as the effective services director. He served as secretary in 1994-95 and again in 2015-16. He was coordinator of the local high-school debating competition over nine years, the Rotary District 9630 district governor from 1997 to 2000, and chairperson of the Rotary health foundation and Rotaract for more than three years.

Gary's long list of achievements and community service doesn't stop there. In 2007 he became a justice of the peace, and in 2011 he joined the Beenleigh historical society and served as treasurer. During this time, he established a tourism centre, facilitated the Heck homestead relocation and refurbishment, heritage days, the re-enactment of the 100th anniversary of the Dungaree March through Beenleigh, with the RSL and local veterans, and the 150th anniversary of the settlement of Beenleigh and its surrounds.

In 2016 he became the founding committee member of the Beenleigh District Men's Shed after researching and lobbying to establish a new men's shed in the Beenleigh area. He is also an active member of Beenleigh RSL and Golf Club. Gary is a recipient of Rotary's Paul Harris Fellowship and a City of Logan Volunteers Award, in 2019, and a joint recipient of the Frank Lenz Memorial Award. Gary is a tireless worker in the Beenleigh community, and I am told that, throughout his over 40 years of service to the community, he has taken only one year off, and that was to get his pilot's licence, something he'd always wanted to achieve throughout his 20 years of service in the Royal Australian Air Force. I want to thank Gary and all those in Forde who volunteer, for their selfless contribution to our community.

The Public Service Medal recognises outstanding service by employees of governments across Australia and has a long history in Commonwealth nations. Rachel Hunter joints a long list of distinguished Australians who have served the community in their contribution to the public service. Rachel has dedicated over 35 years to the public service in Queensland, with a record of delivering leadership and innovation in Queensland Health; the Department of Education, Training and the Arts; the Department of Justice and Attorney-General; and the development of the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art. I want to congratulate and thank both Gary and Rachel for their service to our community, whether it's in volunteering or public service. Being nominated for these prestigious awards by your peers is a high honour indeed and a true reflection of your long-serving commitment to the community and the high regard in which you are held. Thank you to both Gary and Rachel for your service.