Mr PASIN (Barker) (10:21): Every year on 26 January Australians reflect on what it means to be Australian. For me, Australia Day is a reminder of the tremendous freedoms we enjoy and how lucky we are to live in the greatest nation on earth. It’s also a reminder of the true Aussie spirit to work hard, to contribute to community—that sense of mateship and of belonging and of course prosperity. Irrespective of our place of birth, we are united by common Australian values. While the COVID pandemic has been a challenging time for many, in true Australian spirit we’ve risen to the challenge. Indeed, it’s in these tough times that we see what makes our nation really shine. This is truly a nation of freedom and opportunity, even in tough times.
As Australians we continue to strive to better ourselves while at the same time supporting others. Australia wouldn’t be the country it is without the ethos of incredibly hard work and selfless dedication of many of its citizens. Barker is home to some amazing communities made up of ordinary men and women who do extraordinary things. This year some of those men and women were recognised in the Australia Day honours. I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge those citizens of Barker, who make a real difference to their community and were acknowledged on the day. For distinguished service to the tourism and hospitality industries as a cook, restaurateur and author, and to aged welfare, Mrs Maggie Beer of Tanunda received an Officer of the Order of Australia. For significant service to the community of the Barossa through a range of roles, Mrs Margaret Lehmann of Stone Well was made a member of the Order of Australia. For services to the community through a range of roles, Valerie Fewster of Berri received a Medal of the Order of Australia; for services to literature, Mr Clive Tilsley of Angaston, Medal of the Order of Australia; for service to veterans and their families, Margaret—or Margie—Winterfield of Mount Gambier, Medal of the Order of Australia; and for service to Australia through a range of roles, Mr Gary Davis of Millicent, Medal of the Order of Australia. In the meritorious awards, Mr Mark Connelly received a Public Service Medal for outstanding public service to achieving outcomes for the Anangu communities.
These seven Australians from across Barker all have one thing in common: their selfless commitment to community. It is this service and that of many others like them across the country that makes Australia great, and for that I am thankful to them, for their contribution and for their personal sacrifices. They’ve made the community I live in a better place to live, work and raise a family, and, more than that, they’ve made our nation stronger and better for their contribution.