Page 106 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 10 February 2015

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humanitarian and volunteer, was nominated for Senior Australian of the Year, and Glenn Keys, a philanthropic leader and businessman, was nominated as Australian of the Year.

Mr Keys is currently the CEO and Managing Director of Aspen Medical, where he is orchestrating Australia’s response to the ebola epidemic in west Africa. On top of this, Glenn is the chair of Special Olympics ACT and an inaugural board member of the national disability insurance scheme.

This year, as ever, the ACT’s contingent came up against some fantastic Australians, and I congratulate Rosie Batty, the Australian of the Year, Jackie French, the Senior Australian of the Year, Drisana Levitzke-Gray, the Young Australian of the Year and Juliette Wright, Australia’s Local Hero for 2015.

This year’s festivities were also the first to be conducted under the watch of the council’s new chairman, Mr Ben Roberts-Smith VC, MG. Mr Roberts-Smith is a decorated former Australian solider who rose to prominence after winning the Victoria Cross for Australia in 2011. He will lead the council capably over the next few years. Mr Roberts-Smith takes over as chairman from former Australian cricketer Adam Gilchrist. Mr Gilchrist chaired the council from his retirement in 2008 through to 2014. I thank Mr Gilchrist for his service.

I also thank and congratulate the board of the National Australia Day Council. It is the board which has the unenviable task of selecting award recipients from a pool of immensely deserving Australians. The board comprises: the Chair, Ben Roberts-Smith VC, MG; Deputy Chair Robbie Sefton; Professor Ian Frazer AC; Janet Whiting; Jason Glanville; Elizabeth Kelly; Dr Tim Soutphommasane; Carol Schwartz AM; Norman Schueler; and Professor Samina Yasmeen AM.

I also thank the staff of the National Australia Day Council, including the CEO, Jeremy Lasek. They all do a great job. The National Australia Day Council fulfils an important role in Australian society. I encourage all members to visit their website at, to attend the awards ceremony next year and to consider nominating someone for one of these prestigious awards.

Ms Sylvie Stern

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (5.46): l would like to take the opportunity this evening to offer some words of condolence on the passing of well-known Canberran Sylvie Stern, who passed away last month after a short illness.

Sylvie was largely known for her extensive involvement in Canberra’s arts community, as an arts activist, writer and photographer, former nightclub owner—she owned Heaven in Garema Place in the 90s—and a ubiquitous figure in the local entertainment scene. In particular, Sylvie was known for presenting and producing the weekly arts program on community radio 2XX FM every Wednesday afternoon for about two decades. She was also integrally involved with the station, through promotions work, being a board member, organising radiothons, getting sponsors and organising other community events. If you ever saw 2XX doing an outside broadcast, there is a high chance that Sylvie was behind the mike.

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