Wednesday, 3 February 2021
Robertson Electorate: Australia Day Awards
I want to congratulate some outstanding Central Coast residents who were recently recognised as part of the 2021 Australia Day honours list. Pearl Beach resident Dr Denise Fleming was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for services to women in business through a number of important roles. Dr Fleming was a former chairwoman of the Special Olympics and the founder of a management and global coaching business. She has also served as a director of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and the Darling Harbour Authority. I congratulation Dr Fleming.
Narara local Alfred Britton was awarded an OAM for services to the environment and conservation. Mr Britton was a co-founder of the Friends of Strickland State Forest and has volunteered for a number of local environment organisations, including the Narara Creek Catchment Bush Care Group. He has also served as an ecology supervisor for the Forestry Corporation of New South Wales. Congratulations, Alfred.
Stephen Clark was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for service to the Central Coast. Stephen became the Gosford City Council town crier in 1990 and continues to serve as the town crier for Central Coast Council. In this role, Stephen assists in leading citizenship ceremonies, he MCs events and he welcomes special guests to our beautiful region. He's also been a governor and member of St Philip's Christian College foundation board and an elder at numerous churches on the Central Coast. I have known Stephen for many years in his service to community, and, in fact, I played in a church band with him when I was just a young teenager. I do congratulate Stephen as well.
A number of other Central Coast locals were recognised with meritorious awards as well. Stephen Durnford was awarded the Public Service Medal for his work in building regulation, while Glen Howe of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service was awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal in recognition of his over 40 years of service to the brigade. He is the Central Coast group captain and has assisted with numerous local incidents, including major bushfires. During the 2019-20 bushfire season, he led the forward operational response for the Three Mile fire to protect properties at Kulnura, Mangrove and Spencer, and he's been a member of the District Senior Management Team for over 25 years. I really do thank him for his tireless work and leadership. Meals on Wheels volunteer Paula Hardwick received Citizen of the Year. She has assisted the organisation for over 20 years and recently increased her volunteering to several days a week to ensure some of the most vulnerable members of our community have nutritious meals and crucial social support during COVID-19.
It's this commitment to supporting those less fortunate that really epitomises the Australian spirit, and I want to congratulate each and every one of those worthy recipients. Your service, your dedication and commitment to our community has really helped to make the Central Coast the very best region in the very best country in the world.