On behalf of the Jagajaga community, I congratulate all our Queen’s Birthday Honours recipients. My good friend David McKenzie has received his OAM for a lifetime of service to community health, and local and federal government. Everyone who knows Dave will tell you that this award is long overdue. He’s dedicated his every waking moment to improving the lives of people and advancing equality, social justice and policy reform. David’s contribution to his community is quite outstanding. He began his career as a teacher and entered local politics as a councillor at the Shire of Diamond Valley. In 1972, he was elected to the House of Representatives as the member for Diamond Valley in the Whitlam government. In 1973, he introduced the Medical Practice Clarification Bill, which, if passed, would have legalised abortion in the Australian Capital Territory. The bill was defeated after a conscience vote, but it was an important step for further debate and reform that ultimately saw the decriminalisation of abortion. David recently retired as a director at Banyule Community Health in my electorate after 29 years, for which he received a lifetime achievement award. He was also a former board member of Family Planning Victoria and chair of the Diamond Valley Community Health Centre. David is still strongly connected to his local community. He is still actively involved in supporting our community. He’s someone whose advice and wisdom I trust. Congratulations, Dave.

Congratulations to our other Jagajaga awardees: the late Mrs Glenys Kendall for significant service to lacrosse through administrative roles and as a player; Mr Noel Griffith for service to music in the community; Professor Graham McDowell for service to the dairy industry and to education; and Mr Michael Smith for service to journalism and to the public relations sector. And there are our PSM recipients: Ms Christina Asquini for outstanding public service to innovative policy design and service delivery in Victoria; and Mr Dallas John Reilly for outstanding public service to policy and program delivery in support of community safety in Victoria. We’re proud to have you in our community.

Today, I’d also like to congratulate all the local recipients of this year’s Volunteer Grants program. Jagajaga is stronger because of their work. I send a shout-out to the volunteers at Footscape, Diamond Valley Greek Senior Citizens, the Greensborough Historical Society, Hayden’s Helping Hands, the Heidelberg United Football Club, the Ivanhoe Bowls Club, the Ivanhoe Cricket Club, the Nillumbik Historical Society, the Olympic Village Exodus Community, the Plenty Cricket Club, the Rosanna Tennis Club, the Rotary Club of Diamond Creek, Sustainable Macleod, Wahroonga preschool, the Waterdale Theatre, the Watsonia Warriors Junior Basketball Club, and all of our local Scouts groups who were also successful in receiving these grants. Our volunteers make our communities a stronger place. They do work that is often unpaid and unseen but vital. So much work is happening and I thank them all for their contributions.

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