March 09, 2023

I'm thrilled to be able to update the House for the first time in 2023 on some truly remarkable achievements from the people of Shortland. Nine residents of Shortland were recognised in the Australia Day 2023 Honours List, and it's a privilege to acknowledge and thank them for their service to our community.

Professor Clare Collins AO was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia for her distinguished service to nutritional health and dietetics research and to scientific organisations. Dr Robert Morgan AO is also now an Officer of the Order of Australia for his distinguished service to the Indigenous community, to tertiary education leadership and in health advisory roles. Mrs Nancy Dwyer AM is a Member of the Order of Australia for her significant service to netball.

The following have all been recognised with Medals of the Order of Australia: Mrs Jennifer Butters OAM, for service to the community through charitable organisations; Mrs Dianne Lindsay-Simpson OAM and Mr Peter Simpson OAM, for their service to the performing arts as entertainers; Mrs Dawn Lovett OAM and Mr John Lovett OAM, for their service to community health; and Mr Alan Rankins OAM, who I've known for many years, for his service to business and to engineering, and that's after a distinguished naval career.

Shortland is home to some of the best beaches in all of Australia, and I am very proud also that two of my younger constituents, Kyla Renes and Jackson Woolnough, recently competed in the Lake Mac City Pro Junior, which was held at Redhead Beach—one of my family's favourite beaches, I might add. Congratulations, Kyla and Jackson, on taking part in this competition, and good luck with your future surfing endeavours.

I also acknowledge Simon Hoffman of Belmont, who is currently in Spain competing to qualify in the 49ers 2023 world cup, which is the lead-in event to qualify for the next Olympic Games. So I send him Shortland's best wishes as well.

I am very proud of the people of Shortland, who I have the privilege of representing in this place. Those I've recognised today are amongst the finest of them.

Finally, I send my best wishes to my state Labor colleagues for the upcoming New South Wales election. The people of Shortland are ably represented at the state level by Jodie Harrison, the member for Charlestown; Yasmin Catley, the member for Swansea; and Sonia Hornery, the member for Wallsend. I look forward to them all serving in a Minns Labor government.

I'd also like to acknowledge Labor's outstanding candidate in the seat of Lake Macquarie, Steve Ryan. Steve is a barrister, and, before that, he had a long career in journalism. Steve is a genuinely decent man who cares deeply for his community, and he will be a wonderful representative for the people of Lake Macquarie, who, hopefully, will have an MP who is part of a Labor government. I have enjoyed campaigning with him and I look forward to working with him in the future.

Best of luck to all involved and best of luck to state Labor in the upcoming state election.