Australia Day Honours and Awards – Speech in the Federation Chamber 06/02/2024

February 6, 2024

Hansard 06/02/2024  Federation Chamber

Mr LLEW O’BRIEN ( Wide Bay ) ( 16:06 ): Wide Bay is fortunate to have so many amazing people who give their time, energy and skills to help others every day without expectation of praise or recognition. Our national honours and awards system acknowledges and celebrates these inspiring Australians for their extraordinary contributions to the community and the significant role they play in making our nation such a wonderful place to live. Several Wide Bay residents were recognised in the 2024 Australia Day honours list, and I congratulate them on receiving this well-earned award and thank them for their remarkable achievements and their contributions to local communities and our great nation.

Mr Paul Marden of Pomona received an Australian Fire Service Medal for his many years of service training and supporting auxiliary firefighters, his outstanding leadership capabilities and the impact he has had on enhancing the region’s operational capability. Dr Brian Hoepper of Peregian Beach was a recipient of a Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to education, through his work with many educational bodies. Dr Christine McConnell of Noosaville received a Medal of the Order of Australia for her dedication to medicine in regional and remote communities and Antarctica. Mr Morgan Parker of Sunshine Beach was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to business. Mrs Bernadette O’Neill of Gympie was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for her service to local rugby leg clubs and the community. Ms Julia Davison of Noosa Heads was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for her significant service to children, to youth and to the community. And Ms Bronwyn Edinger of Tewantin was made a Member of the Order of Australia for her contribution towards advancing the performing arts.

I say thank you not only to these incredible Australians but also to all the unsung heroes and selfless volunteers in Wide Bay who work to support community, service, veterans, church, educational, sporting and recreational groups. You make a real and positive difference to the lives of individuals, organisations and animals in need. You are the glue that holds our community together, and without you and all the wonderful work you do Wide Bay and our nation would just not be the same. Thank you, again.


In the spirit of Australia, I acknowledge all citizens who contribute to making our nation the greatest on earth.

I acknowledge our defence force personnel, past, present, and emerging, for their service to our nation, and particularly those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the defence of Australia.

I also acknowledge the Australian taxpayers who, through their hard work, pay for the infrastructure, health, education, and emergency services that keep our proud nation healthy, safe, and prosperous.