SPEECH – ORDER OF AUSTRALIA, CANBERRA, MONDAY, 15 FEBRUARY 2021
Private Members’ Business – The Order of Australia
Thank you, Deputy Speaker.
The Order of Australia is a truly great honour for all those Australians who are committed to serving their communities.
The Northern Territory has the smallest population of any Australian jurisdiction, with just under 250,000 residents.
So I’m very proud to pay tribute to the wonderful Territorians who’ve been acknowledged for their hard work for our community.
The Honourable Trevor Riley QC, now an Officer of the Order of Australia, was a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory.
His legal career that spanned almost 50 years.
He worked on the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, important work we reflect upon today as we work towards closing the gap.
During his tenure as Chief Justice, he was outspoken on issues such as alcohol abuse, high imprisonment rates, and cuts to legal aid.
He has made a colossal contribution to improving the lives of Territorians, and I thank him.
Also a newly appointed AO is Professor Alan Cass, Director of the Menzies School of Health Research.
He’s a kidney specialist dedicated to improving health outcomes, particularly for Indigenous Australians. The NT sadly has some of the highest rates of kidney failure in the world, and Professor Cass’s work is literally lifesaving.
His colleague, Professor Amanda Jane Leach, is now an AM.
She’s doing fantastic work fighting an ear infection which causes long-term hearing loss in Aboriginal children.
Long-time – recently retired – Katherine Mayor Fay Miller has done tremendous work for her community.
She’s been a tireless advocate for Katherine for more than 30 years, including as deputy opposition leader in the NT Legislative Assembly.
Fay has stared down huge obstacles with great courage, such as breaking her neck, rebuilding her home twice due to floods, and her recent illness.
A heartfelt thank you, Fay. My best wishes are with you.
Former chief magistrate of the NT, Hugh Bradley, is also honoured this year, for his service to the law and judiciary. Well done.
David Anthony Watters, for his service to law enforcement in the NT, I thank you.
Congratulations to the four members of the Hagan family of Tennant Creek.
Allan, Miriam, John, and Patricia have all received Medals of the Order of Australia for their contribution to their community, managing Muckaty and Brunchilly Stations.
A special shout-out to Katie Woolf OAM of Mix 104.9 FM, who I speak with regularly on air.
She’s a great voice for our community, speaking truth to power.
She positively channelled her grief from the loss of her father six years ago, starting the NT Run With Dad charity to raise community awareness of prostate cancer.
She’s a tops Territorian.
David Dinh received a medal for his service to the NT Vietnamese Community.
I went to the Tet celebration in Darwin on Saturday night which was a terrific event.
Thank you David, we’re the better for your excellent contribution.
And Carley Scott, CEO of Equatorial Launch Australia, is doing phenomenal work growing the space industry in north-east Arnhem Land.
She’s trying to get NASA rockets launched from a spaceport in the outback, which will reap great rewards for our community.
Lastly, but importantly, I’d like to pay tribute to our Public Service Medallists.
Jodie Ryan has spent years committing herself to the public service in the Northern Territory. Thank you, Jodie.
And the NT’s Chief Health Officer Hugh Heggie has been awarded for the incredible work he and his team have done keeping the Territory safe for the past 12 months during the COVID-19 pandemic.
They’ve calmly and competently protected Territorians – and we are yet to record a single case of community transmission.
Our quarantine facility at Howard Springs is a global gold standard.
Hugh, we’re so grateful to you and your whole team.