Page 550 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 13 February 2013
Commander Paul Moggach RAN was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross for outstanding achievement in the performance of duty as the Commanding Officer of 817 Squadron from August 2009 until decommissioning of the squadron in December 2011. Lieutenant Colonel Jenelle Lawson was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross for outstanding achievement as staff officer plans, Headquarters Defence Force Recruiting, for the innovation, development and successful implementation of the defence technical scholarship program during the period from 2007 to 2011.
Colonel John McLean was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross for outstanding achievement as Commanding Officer, 16th Air Defence Regiment. And finally, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Thomson was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross for outstanding achievement as a project director, Defence Support Group—Capital Facilities and Infrastructure Branch.
I apologise if I have missed anybody in the electorate of Ginninderra, and if so, I will come back into this place and add my congratulations to them at a later point in time. Once again, I congratulate all those who have received honours. They have all shown commitment in their respective areas of service to the Canberra community and beyond, and they can take great pride in their achievements. And we as a community should take pride in the special recognition that they have received.
Australia Day awards
Aboriginal reconciliation—national apology to stolen generation
MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (6.38): I would add my congratulations along with Mr Coe’s to those people that were awarded. As a member of the order, I really know how important it is to them and I will be writing to each of them at a later stage.
I would like to acknowledge the fifth anniversary of the apology. I am sorry I was unable to rise to my feet before to do this but that was my fault at that particular time earlier today. But the apology by the Prime Minister was a very significant day and as a person who has worked and lived in remote Indigenous communities in the Top End of the NT for 12 years, I well know the effect of the policies imposed on the communities at that time and since by successive governments at all levels for so many years, not only by governments, of course, but also by institutions of all kinds.
The mission I worked with for the bulk of the time in the NT, I am pleased to say, was not involved in carrying out the destructive and devastating policies of removing children. However, at the time it did perpetuate a paternalistic culture which assumed a subtle dominance over traditional cultures and a lack of tolerance. And, as I said five years ago in this place, I feel very disappointed and sorry that I was in any way part of that attitude and the way that we carried out our work at that time.
I would also like to reflect on the recent response to the weather conditions, both the hot and dry weather as well as the recent storms, and I would like to personally thank the minister and all the emergency services workers for their preparedness and their