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Monday, 21 November 2011
Page: 13048


Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (10:30): It is my pleasure to rise this morning to congratulate and pay tribute to the staff, the students and the parents at Mooroolbark East Primary School in the electorate of Casey. Last Friday morning, on a very hot and windy Melbourne day, I had the pleasure of attending Mooroolbark East Primary School to help officiate at a very important event: the school's Relay For Life for the Cancer Council. The school team competed in the Relay For Life over the weekend, but the entire school participated in its own relay on the school oval throughout the Friday. The 460 children at Mooroolbark East Primary School all combined to raise money for the important cause of cancer research and to raise awareness. More than $2,000 was raised, with all the students at the school walking throughout the school day. I want to pay tribute to the organisers: the school principal, Debbie Nelsson; the assistant principal, Sandra Marianello; and Matt Henry, from the school organising committee.

As all of us know, everyone is touched, one way or another, by cancer. We all know a cancer survivor or someone who has passed away because of cancer. So to see this great community effort was very uplifting and inspiring. Special guests at the ceremony included Victoria Police Detective Inspector Peter Wheeler; a Cancer Council International Hero of Hope, Gaye Bobbine; and Michael, known as 'Mr Relay', who is a cancer survivor of some 30 years, I think, and who was there to help officiate on the day. Mooroolbark East Primary School deserves congratulations for playing its part, for celebrating, for fighting back and for doing everything it can so that one day in the future—hopefully in the lifetimes of the schoolchildren themselves—we will see a cure for cancer.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I thank the honourable member. On behalf of all honourable members I commend the school on its support for this very worthy cause.