Parliamentary Speech: Australia Day Honours

Every Australia Day we celebrate our great country, our democratic values, our freedoms, our beautiful landscape—and our national character of strength and resilience forged over many years.

Significantly—this Australia Day—we came together in Mandurah to recognise and welcome our new Australians taking the pledge of allegiance to our great nation

I had the pleasure of welcoming 80 new citizens from a wide range of backgrounds and nationalities, and it was a delight to sing—all of us together—our national anthem.

The ceremony also gave me, and many others, the opportunity to renew our pledge to Australia.

It was a reminder for all of us—whether born here, or naturalised after birth—that we owe this country our unwavering allegiance

This Australia Day, I also was honoured to help recognise and celebrate the achievements of cherished members of my local community.

Among the long list of Australians honoured in the 2023 Australia Day honours, I was delighted to see Canning residents Lynn Rodgers OAM and John Lawrence OAM recognised for their longstanding service and dedication to our community.

Mandurah Primary School Principal Natasha Upcott was awarded the City of Mandurah Community Citizen of the Year. Natasha has taught in Mandurah for nearly 20 years and has been an industrious and tireless advocate for women and children’s issues, children’s education, and road safety.

16-year-old Baylee Frietag received the Youth City of Mandurah Community Citizen of the Year Award. Baylee is the junior CEO of Halo Team Mandurah—an organisation that provides critical help and emergency relief for at-risk youth and adults in Mandurah.

Kaye Seeber was recognized as the City of Mandurah’s Senior Community Citizen of the Year. Kaye is the founder of WA Mum’s Cottage—an organisation well-known in my local community for providing benevolent relief, guidance and assistance to local Mums and children in need.

Marine Rescue Mandurah were recognised as the Group City of Mandurah Community Citizen of the Year. Mandurah is surrounded by beautiful and popular waterways, and the team of volunteers at Mandurah Marine Rescue work hard all year round to keep us safe. I understand that—so far—the team has attended over 160 marine incidents, 150 recoveries and 15 distresses totaling over 20,000 volunteer hours.

Also recognised on Australia Day were Keith Holmes OAM, former Mayor of the City of Mandurah, and Stephen Goode, former CEO of the City of Mandurah, who were awarded the title of Honourary Freemen of the City.

Again, I want to extend my most sincere congratulations to all those recognised within our community—your service and dedication does not go unnoticed, and you are all well deserving of the accolades you have received.

And—to our new Australians—I hope you are as proud and grateful to live in this great country as I am.

Citizenship of our great nation comes with rights and responsibilities.

Together, we are collaborators in this great democratic project.

Let us all continue to work hard to make Australia the best place on earth.