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Monday, 30 May 2011
Page: 5110

Mrs GRIGGS (Solomon) (21:30): It has been a very busy time back in my electorate of Solomon, with lots of activities, events and openings taking place. The SIDS and Kids NT is an organisation that is very dear to my heart. It always amazes how hard the volunteers work to raise the much-needed funds for the very important awareness programs for SIDS and Kids. A special acknowledgment and thanks must go to Fiona and Craig Peters, who work tirelessly for this charity, especially when there is a BBQ fundraiser. That seems to be their speciality—the best sausage sizzles in town.

On 5 May I was delighted to host the presentation of the Australian Defence Medal for three long-time Northern Territory residents which was held at the Palmerston Sports Club. I was joined by military representative Major Pat Hay and we presented medals to Mr Christopher McManis and Mr Noel Barry. Unfortunately, the third recipient, Mr Rodney Arrowsmith, could not attend, but we did acknowledge him on the day.

The Fred's Pass Annual Show was held over the weekend of Friday, 13 May to Sunday, 15 May and this year celebrated its 33rd year. There was a great range of stalls, exhibits, rides, food, drink and activities for everyone to get involved in. Each year this event seems to get bigger and bigger and better and better. Congratulations must go to the organising committee.

Following on from my previous mention in this House about the Arafura Games, on the final day of competition I attended the volleyball finals at Marrara Indoor Stadium. In an exciting nail-biting game between Papua New Guinea and Macau, PNG eventually took the men's gold medal. The medal presentation was very memorable with the winning PNG team singing their national anthem to a very excited crowd. Special mention and congratulations to Katie Sharpe from the Women's Defence team. She was awarded Best Setter and Most Valuable Player awards and was absolutely delighted! John Cassat from the Men's Defence team was awarded Best Server for the competition. A very special mention and congratulations to the Northern Territory medal winners and Alex Billeter from the Women's NT team, who received the Best Blocker award. It was wonderful to be able to present an award to a local. I was so very proud to also present the bronze medal to the Women's Tiwi Islands team.

To all competitors across all the sports and countries, thank you for participating in the games and thank you for visiting our beautiful Top End. Thank you also to the many volunteers and sponsors for their contribution to the games. Many have said that one of the highlights of this events was local talent Jessica Mauboy, who certainly knows how to entertain a crowd.

On Sunday, 15 May I attended Darwin's premiere pet event, the RSPCA Million Paws Walk at Jingili Water Gardens. It was a fabulous morning. It was wonderful to see many locals with their four-legged friends supporting this worthwhile event. My cocker spaniel Toby thoroughly enjoyed the event. He took a real liking to Alice Burton's dog Yani, who was in the running for the smallest dog on the walk and also Leigh Gordon's cute little black cocker spaniel Duke. Miranda and Michael Opie's babies, Gremlin, Muppett, Yetti and Womble, were all RSPCA rescue dogs and stood out in the crowd as they all wore pink tutus. The funds raised through walk registrations and online fundraising goes towards vital programs, services and campaigns undertaken by the RSPCA, as well as supporting our daily battle to stop animal cruelty.

I attended the opening of the new Woolworths store at Karama on Wednesday, 18 May. Locals tell me they are delighted with the new store and were very impressed with the refurbishments of the Karama Shopping Centre complex. I was surprised that there were so many people waiting for the shop doors to open. Officially, I was the second customer of the store, purchasing some locally grown heliconas for my electorate office. Congratulations to regional manager Michael Batycki, area manager Rick Lowe and store manager Domenic Devirgilio on the opening of this new store. If your first day was any indication, I am sure Karama residents are going to keep you very busy.

As part of Walk Safely to School Day on Friday, 20 May I hosted a healthy breakfast at Malak Primary School. Students loved the fresh fruit, yogurt, fresh bread and cheese. The biggest hit by far was the watermelon. A special thank you to Principal Peter Swan and his staff for registering the school for this event. There is a real sense of community within the school. This is a real credit to Principal Peter Swan and his dedicated team of teachers, such as Vanessa Hoare and Marita Maloney. After breakfast was finished I was asked to present the weekly awards—and that was such a privilege.

Finally, I attended the Paspaley Darwin Star Ball for the Starlight Foundation on Friday, 20 May with my good friends Erica Sims and Jack Cranwell. Through the generosity of Territorians more than $200,000 was raised for the Starlight Foundation on the night. One of the highlights of the evening was the raffle. (Time expired)