“It is an honour and a privilege to have such a recognised person leading our Shire,” General Manager Steven Head said.
“We all know that he does an excellent job as mayor, but of course this honour goes far beyond his considerable service for Hornsby Shire.
“Ever since he was first elected to Federal Parliament, way back in 1973 when safari suits were still in fashion, he has dedicated his life to the local community.
“He has served the people with selfless dedication and picked up many accolades along the way, including becoming the second longest serving member of parliament in Australian history.
“Of particular note was his service as a minister in the Howard Government, in the portfolios of immigration and multicultural affairs, reconciliation and indigenous affairs, and as attorney general.
“He is best remembered for his work in immigration and he remains very highly regarded by the various ethnic groups within our community.
“If we need him at an event we have to book far in advance, as his diary quickly fills with the many culturally diverse dinners and functions he is always being invited to.
“Since leaving parliament he has not slowed down in his public service, such as when he recently chaired an investigation into reforming our national religious freedom laws.
“But of course, the most significant service to our Shire has been the way he has taken on the role of mayor.
“He is committed to good local government, with a special focus on listening to the voices of the people affected by Council’s decisions.
“He is especially passionate about the environment and has overseen a range of reforms to help strengthen the green canopy of the Bushland Shire, most notably Council’s tree planting initiative, with more than 17,000 trees planted so far.
“Mayor Ruddock has not done all of this alone and his wife Heather is also deserving of special recognition.
“The pair have been a formidable team since the very beginning and both are highly valued members of our community.”