Thursday, 25 February 2021
Mitchell Electorate: Australia Day Awards, Featherstone, Ms Jacqueline Anita
It's a pleasure to rise to speak and honour some of the remarkable people in my electorate of Mitchell who were recognised in the recent Australia Day honours list, including Francis Deane OAM, for service to people with a disability and to the community; Yvonne Keane, for significant service to women and children and to those who are deaf and hard of hearing; Perry Gilsenan OAM, for service to people with Down syndrome; and the late Rita Little, a special person, for service to animal welfare and to canine breeding clubs.
I'd also like to commend the following Hills Shire Council Australia Day award recipients for their ongoing commitment: Chris Cleary, a Citizen of the Year, from the StreetMed charity; James Brice, also a Citizen of the Year, the musical director of the Castle Hill RSL Youth Wind Orchestra and North West Wind Ensemble; Janice Sanders, for her efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic; the Young Citizen of the Year, Tian Yi Wong See, for his work about youth health and breaking the stigma that surrounds poor mental health; the Environmental Citizen of the Year, Sue Martin, for her passion for the environment and education; and the Community Group of the Year, Hills Community Aid, the premier charity in my electorate, who have been delivering services to people in need for over 50 years. I also want to congratulate Pratibha Bhanushali, who received the Baulkham Hills Community Recognition Award for her selfless dedication and commitment to a variety of community and volunteer organisations throughout the Hills district.
It is also with sadness that I conclude today in paying tribute to the late Jacqueline Anita Featherstone, who, just short of her 90th birthday, passed away on 19 January 2021. Everyone knew Anita as a stalwart of the Hills community. She moved to the district in 1954, with her husband, Bob, and new baby, Wendy. Their family grew to include Kerry, Robert and Trevor. She was a remarkable woman and committed woman of faith. She was an active member of not only her local church and her children's schools but also the Hills history group, amongst several other groups. She volunteered her services to the Anglicare Retirement Villages Computer Club and the Parramatta Arthritis Group, and for 25 years she was also involved in the Self Help for Hard of Hearing group.
In 1964 Anita joined the Girl Guides support unit at Castle Hill, where she remained an active member of the Girl Guides. Anita was a founding member of the Hills Trefoil Guild in 1992, and received an award for 45 years membership in guiding. She volunteered for the Castle Hill branch of the Australian Red Cross for 21 years, where she served as secretariat up until her death. She was also given a service award by the Red Cross for her outstanding contribution. She was nominated by the International Women's Day Committee to be included in the 100 years of active women in the Hills community service, and she was incredibly honoured to be recognised for her outstanding commitment.
We note her passing and remember that she contributed all of that in just one lifetime. I had the opportunity and pleasure to meet Anita on many occasions in my electorate. I remember her fondly. She was an amazing woman who gave so much. She made a great difference to the lives of so many groups that she had an impact on over so many years. I pass on our condolences and our community's love to her family and children.