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Monday, 12 September 2011
Page: 9696

Mr MITCHELL (McEwen) (20:48): Tonight I want to talk about two local people who have had fantastic careers in volunteering across our community. The first of them is Ray Carroll.

Ray Carroll finished his amazing 53-year career coaching Assumption College Kilmore's first XVIII for the very last time on 28 August 2011. Ray is a former teacher, dormitory supervisor and sports master at the school, and he was appointed as the coach of Assumption's first XI cricket team back in 1967. In 1976 he became the coach of the first XVIII football team. His coaching skills have turned more than just a few schoolboys into champions.

His long and distinguished career has seen his being awarded the Order of Australia, the Centenary Medal and the Australian Sports Medal and his induction into the crusader of Australia hall of honour among many other awards too numerous to mention. These honours are not conferred lightly, but I think that Ray Carroll's abilities and talents are a justification for those awards.

I attended Ray's final game—as did many thousands of former students, friends and legends of Australian sport. Watching the final ACK match under Ray was an honour, and very inspirational to say the least. Having the opportunity to hear Mr Carroll's final three-quarter time speech of words both softly spoken but with intense passion, I fleetingly felt like I could run through a brick wall after absorbing the message that he delivered. It is right to say that Mr Carroll is a community icon in the Kilmore district, for very few can compare with such remarkable achievements in sport over a sustained period of time.

Most people acknowledge that Ray is an institution at ACK, and I know that I speak on behalf of many in our community who wish Mr Carroll well for his future and that ACK, as it begins a new chapter in its rich and proud history, will always remember that the Carroll oval reminds us of one man's remarkable achievements. Rarely in Australian sporting history has one individual devoted themselves as wholly and selflessly to the demanding role of coaching at the highest competitive level.

I also want to thank on behalf of the McEwen electorate Peter Roylance for his years of service to the Wallan community. As captain Peter has led the Wallan brigade of the CFA for the past 20 years, but his involvement in CFA goes back some 40 years. Peter started as a volunteer fire fighter with the Epping Fire Brigade in 1971 and transferred to the Wallan brigade in 1988. It was not long until Peter was involved in leadership roles, holding several office positions until he became the captain of the Wallan brigade back in 1991.

Over this time Peter has held, and still holds, many other roles within the Hume group, including group officer. On 1 July this year Peter stood aside as captain, but the community is still lucky that he has chosen to stay on and is currently serving as first lieutenant. The health and vibrancy of the Wallan CFA is a testament to and the direct result of Peter's leadership over the years.

His ability to foster teamwork within the brigade has been second to none. The new station, the trucks and the cars are only a small testament to his feats, and the fact that there is such a strong membership list now—there are even people waiting on queues to join the CFA—shows what an inspirational community organisation Peter Roylance has fostered in his time there. The work and the standard that he has been able to implement in numerous programs will prove invaluable in keeping Wallan CFA in good stead for future growth and development.

Forty years as an unpaid volunteer, with 20 of those years as captain, is an absolutely sensational contribution to our communities. The Wallan brigade paid special tribute to Peter a couple of weeks ago, holding a dinner in his honour at the fire station, where they unveiled a plaque and officially named their meeting room the Peter Roylance Room. Peter, I say on behalf of our community that we sincerely appreciate your enduring efforts. They have benefited many residents in our community, and we really wish you well for now and into the future.