Personal Statement

Media Release

15 January 2015

I have delayed my return to Norfolk Island from my planned short family break due to an unexpected medical issue.

Fortunately world class medical professionals and procedures available in the Australian Health System not only detected but successfully repaired a tear in my Aorta, the major artery.

On December 30, the amazing skills of surgeons and support medical staff saved my life.

Interestingly, the doctors and support staff at the hospital I attended, like other major hospitals, use high speed internet technology to also serve the medical needs of people in many remote parts of Australia.

My progress and recovery is well underway and doctors are planning for my return to duty on Norfolk Island in a few weeks.

I have recommenced limited duties and remain in contact via email and telephone with my Official Secretary Rob McKenzie OAM who continues as Acting Administrator until my return.

At this stage, I will return after Australia Day. The planned events at Government House on 26 January will continue in our absence.

All around our nation, Australia Day provides a chance to recognise the importance of community service.

The Community Service Ethos is understandably strong in a remote community like Norfolk Island.

Lorraine and I are disappointed we will not be able to personally thank and recognise recipients of the 2015 Administrator's Awards for Community Service until after our return in February.

We are most grateful for the support of the Prime Minister, Assistant Minister Briggs, his Department officials, as well as the many well-wishers amongst our friends on Norfolk Island.

His Honour the Hon. Gary Hardgrave