MS TIERNEY (Minister for Training and Skills) — I rise to congratulate the 26 residents of Western Victoria Region whose achievements and contributions to their communities have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday honours recently. Three were awarded AMs, 22 received OAMs and one was awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal. These western Victorians cover the full gamut of community life — lawyers, authors and businesspeople; some drawn from health, sport and service organisations; disability workers and advocates; Country Fire Authority and emergency workers; farmers; and people from cultural and artistic fields. Three — Ian Black of Hamilton, Lorraine Stokes of Portarlington and Peter Driscoll of Barwon Downs — reflect this diversity.
Ian Black, the 2014 Southern Grampians Shire Australia Day citizen of the year, has written extensively on the local history of the Hamilton area, always working to preserve our heritage and understanding of our history. Barwon Downs’s Peter Driscoll has given 28 years of exceptional fire-line leadership, starting in 1988 with what is now Forest Fire Management Victoria. In the Colac region and beyond, including the Wye River-Separation Creek fire in 2015, he has demonstrated the skills and qualities which saw him awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal. Portarlington’s Lorraine Stokes continues to contribute to her community, playing a key role in establishing a neighbourhood house and the now annual Portarlington Mussel Festival, writing a definitive Portarlington history and providing leadership for the local arts network.
These 26 western Victorians are the backbone of our communities, and I note the importance of their work to the fabric of our lives.