Thursday, 18 June 2020
Cowper Electorate: Queen's Birthday Honours
I rise today to congratulate Mr Eric Claussen of Port Macquarie, who was recently awarded the Public Service Medal for outstanding public service to the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service. Mr Claussen has demonstrated outstanding and sustained commitment to firefighting and community safety throughout his 40 years of service to the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service. He displayed this commitment primarily through his involvement in major incident roles, fire and incident management training and the development and delivery of the Lessons Learned Program. Since joining the service as a field officer in 1976, he has gained experience and knowledge through his service in a variety of diverse roles. After progressing his rank to become a ranger, he went on to acting manager of the operations unit and then to manager of the flight unit, before commencing his current role of senior project officer of Lessons Learned. His commitment and contribution to incident management and the development and delivery of fire management training far exceeds the expectations of his usual role. Mr Claussen has devoted significant and sustained out-of-work hours throughout his career, with his dedication regarded by his peers as unparalleled. With 40 years of dedicated service to the community, he has been suitably recognised with this award. I would like to say congratulations and thank you to Mr Eric Claussen.
I would also like to congratulate Mr David Hitchcock, of Dorrigo, who was recently awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal. Mr Hitchcock has provided almost 40 years to the community of New South Wales, including with several agencies that respond to fire and emergencies. He currently serves as a retained firefighter with Fire and Rescue NSW, commencing with that organisation in 1988. He commenced fire duties in 1980 with the then Forestry Commission of New South Wales, and then moved to the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service with a focus on incident management and training. He now runs an international fire and emergency training company. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience to lead and develop the local Dorrigo crew, ensuring the community is protected, and he's highly regarded by his colleagues.
Mr Hitchcock has provided dedicated commitment to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service and to the community over 22 years. Therefore, with almost 40 years of dedicated service to the community of New South Wales and current service as a retained firefighter, he has been suitably recognised by this award. Such recognition reflects a lifetime of commitment to the safety of the community and, in particular, the leadership he has shown during emergencies, especially during the recent bushfire crisis. Thank you, David, for your service, and congratulations on this well-deserved recognition.