Wednesday, 17 February 2021
Holt Electorate: Australia Day Awards
I rise in this place to talk about a group of 30 outstanding individuals and four local organisations we honoured on Australia Day at the Tooradin and District Sports Club as part of the 17th annual Holt Australia Day Awards. I want to thank the Holt Australia Day Awards committee, who helped select these outstanding individuals and organisations—Vanessa Gerdes, Jodie Hollis, Chris Drysdale and Rahimi Baryalai. Australia Day is a day where we can come together and recognise those that make a significant difference to our community, that make Australia a better place to be—what I call the 'social glue' that keeps our community together.
I would like to, if I can, read a large number of people's names and organisations into the record to again acknowledge them here in terms of their outstanding achievements and efforts to make our community a better place. They are Alexander Stroud, Barbara Pain, Dr Bol Juol-Thor, Brian Lasky OAM, David Forscutt, David Gomm, Debra Keogh OAM, Elizabeth Barton, Erin Wallace, Gam Tran, Glenn Weir, Hemanth Kumar, Ian Ronald Symons, Judy Clarkson AM, Karen Janssen, Lauren La'Brooy, Machid Ali, Marie Garcia, Dr Mary Cole, Mathew Keene OAM, Neil Haesler, Nigel Bertram, Robert John Best, Rosemary Mynard, Ross Wilkie, Senthil Senthilnathan, Steve Miller, Swaran Singh, Xiu Mei Li, Zarghuna Aatifi, Cannons Creek Foreshore Committee of Management, Monash Health COVID-19 Pandemic Response, and South East Climate Action Network.
They are names and organisations, but they are people. They are people that through their efforts have made Australia a better place. I think Australians do this in terms of their community contribution in a very Australian way. They don't seek recognition. They don't seek the awards, the honour, the fame. They just get out there and do it. We saw that time and time again through the COVID response. I mentioned the Monash Health COVID pandemic response team; but also the community organisations that worked in the most challenging set of circumstances as we overcame lockdown 1 and 2 in Melbourne in particular.
It says a lot also about the Australian spirit. There is a great resilience in the Australian spirit, a great character, a great spirit of self-sacrifice. We see that time and time again. We don't just see it on the international sports field and with our men and women who serve in the armed forces. We see it day in and day out from these people who serve our community and who do it in a quiet, unassuming Australian way. It was an honour to honour them for their Australian contributions on Australia Day.