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Tuesday, 19 February 2008
Page: 777

Mr HAYES (4:32 PM) —by leave—I have lived in my electorate of Werriwa for over 30 years. It has a very diverse culture but a very keen love of sport. Sometimes we are a little more parochial than we might think in our support for the Wests Tigers. But sport is something that we do take a lot of pride in, particularly sport for our kids. So it is only right that I acknowledge the contribution of people in our electorate who make local sport and competition possible for the children of our area.

This year Mrs Julie Luke, who is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Western Suburbs District Junior Rugby League, was awarded the 2008 Campbelltown Citizen of the Year Award. This is indeed a wonderful achievement and a great honour. Julie’s commitment and dedication to junior rugby league and to the youth of the south-west of Sydney was rewarded by recognition through this prestigious award. Upon being named 2008 Campbelltown Citizen of the Year, Mrs Luke said:

I have been involved in children’s sport because the youth of Campbelltown are our future. I just can’t help myself doing this. I just love it. I am very honoured to have this award.

Julie was first involved in junior rugby league as a mother, progressed through her local football club, the Ingleburn RSL Junior Rugby League, and then was appointed the Chief Executive Officer of the Western Suburbs District Junior Rugby League.

This is one of the biggest junior rugby leagues in New South Wales. It caters for some 3,600 children to participate regularly in the sport. This involves over 16 clubs from all over Campbelltown and Liverpool which field over 220 teams. I have been very fortunate to have a personal involvement with the Western Suburbs District Junior Rugby League over the past 22 years. As a result I am very familiar with the efforts of Mrs Julie Luke and other members of her board in catering for the sporting interests of children in Campbelltown and Liverpool as well as providing competitive opportunities for elite athletes to progress through to their chosen sport.

Given the community’s concern in relation to childhood obesity, as well as issues of assimilation into various groups and the community in general, I believe the activities of organisations such as this one go a long way to addressing key issues of social development. On behalf of a grateful community, I offer my sincere thanks and congratulations to Mrs Luke and her board for such commitment and professionalism in the running of junior rugby league in the area of Liverpool and Campbelltown. It is very much to the credit of Mrs Luke herself—her guidance, her leadership and the giving of her time so freely to the youth of our area.