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Wednesday, 15 February 2012
Page: 1567

Mr SIMPKINS (Cowan) (19:10): In my remarks tonight I would like to address one of the great strengths of the electorate of Cowan—and probably one of the great strengths of all electorates across the country—and that is volunteerism. We know there are dedicated volunteers out in our communities who believe in something that is very special. They are the ones who are prepared, in their own time, to turn up to meetings, to turn up to activities—fundraising and other events—and to help members of their clubs or the community generally. They are prepared to show up and do what needs to be done. What sort of place would we have and what sort of country would we have if people were not prepared to do that? What sort of country would we have if everyone in the community just said, 'I am only going to do this if I get paid'.

So, in reality, within Cowan I have a very strong community volunteer sector. There is the bushfire service and we have SES volunteers all doing wonderful jobs. This evening I would like specifically to mention a number of different groups. I would like to begin by talking about the strong seniors club sector. Within my electorate of Cowan the seniors clubs provide services to older residents across the electorate. They do things like computer training, craft work, pottery, painting, carpet bowls, card playing, bingo, outings and a great range of other activities. The executives and the committees of these seniors groups do a wonderful job. As we know, there is often a sense of isolation felt by older people. That is obviously made worse by their lack of mobility as they get towards the twilight years. So it is very good and a great thing that people, often other seniors, are prepared to take up positions in these clubs. Particularly on this occasion I would like just to mention some of these volunteers.

There is the Waneroo Seniors, with their long-term president, Marcia Dinnie—a real driving force there. She is backed up by vice-president, Jean Squibb, the secretary, Ingrid Bartle, assistant secretary, Ada Aldridge, treasurer, Heather Kearton and assistant treasurer, Joy Pettigrove. Then there is the committee: Neville Rickard, Heather Hicks, Yvonne Ward, Lorraine Havlin and Margaret Whiting, and honorary committee members Priscilla Wright and David Morgan. These are great people who are doing a great job for the largest seniors club in the electorate of Cowan. It has close to 400 members as I understand. It is also worth mentioning—although I have already mentioned it in the House of Representatives chamber—that they won the community organisation of the year at the City of Wanneroo Australia Day award ceremony.

Over in Ballajura there is another very fine club—the Ballajura Seniors. When I was back in Perth on Saturday night, I had dinner with the Ballajura Seniors. Their president is Ray Fox, the vice-president is Laurie Chapman and the secretary is Val Russell. There is also the committee: Glenys Welch, Dot Moloney, Ella O'Gorka and Frank D'Silva, and many volunteers including Jim Thomas, Alf Gardner, John Macey, Margaret Ryan and Peter Welsh. Again, the Ballajura Seniors are doing a great job, and they even tolerate my bad indoor carpet bowling. They welcome me whenever I go there. At the Girrawheen Seniors, the president is Deanne Hetherington, the acting vice-president is Mrs Jan Johnson and the secretary/treasurer is Merilyn Hunter. Merilyn has not been well in recent times, and I wish her all the best for the future. The committee consists of Angela Genovese, Mrs Bella Alphonso, Jenny Hunter, Dot Dodd—again a member of the Lions club and a very outstanding lady—and Christine Situ. The bowls room captain is Coral Fotheringham and the games room captain is Alf Smallcombe.

The Wanjoo Seniors—the Wanneroo-Joondalup seniors club—are meeting in Woodvale. Their coordinator is Pat Kiernan, their assistant coordinator is Joan Evans, their treasurer is Mrs Muriel Connor and their secretary is Winsome Kiernan. Again, the Wanjoo Seniors are always very happy whenever I turn up to let me have a very brief word and say hello to the members, so I always appreciate that. The Kingsley Seniors Group is led by President Ms Pat Shears, Vice-President George Mullins, secretary Mrs Pat Jack and treasurer Ms Pat Geary.

As I said, at the seniors clubs within Cowan and in fact all the way across the country there is a degree of vulnerability involved with growing older and it is good that these sorts of positive groups can provide connections and incentives for our seniors to remain involved within the community. They provide lifelong learning in the case of computer training, and they are also therapeutic by way of the arts and crafts. So they are very good organisations and I am very pleased that I have so many great seniors groups within Cowan.

Just down the road from the Wanneroo Seniors is the Country Women's Association of Wanneroo. For an urban electorate—what I would describe as an outermetropolitan electorate—it might seem a little bit odd that there is a Country Women's Association branch, but they also do outstanding work. They are very keen on assisting breast cancer charities, and every year they put on a great morning tea which raises a lot of money for that cause. As I said before, an outermetro Country Women's Association does not seem quite consistent but, given that they have been around for 47 years, many of the suburbs within the city of Wanneroo—formerly the shire of Wanneroo—and in what is now the north of Cowan did not exist when the Country Women's Association began there 47 years ago. But all the best and greatest traditions of the Country Women's Association are carried on by President Colleen Forsyth, secretary Marion Passanisi and treasurer Mrs Pat Doig. I congratulate them and thank them for all the great work they do for charity and the Wanneroo district.

It would also be remiss of me if I did not mention another great community organisation, community service clubs. I would like to talk a little bit about the Lions clubs. Again, fortunately, I have a great many Lions clubs within Cowan, although there are about 25 suburbs within Cowan. There are Lions clubs at Ballajura—starting with the club I am a member of, of course—and also at Girradoola, which stands for Girrawheen and Koondoola, and at Wanneroo, and there is the Lions Club of Kingsley-Woodvale as well. They do fabulous work for the community and the individuals within the community that are in greatest need. They raise money for the particular Western Australian Lions causes: the Lions Save-Sight Foundation, the Lions Hearing Foundation and the Lions Cancer Institute. They also support the Lions Youth of the Year competition.

The four clubs in Cowan are all doing very well and they are used to devoting a lot of their own time in the best traditions of volunteerism for their fundraising activities. Of course, all the money raised is pushed back out into the community for these great causes. Whether it is the individuals or the other groups that are in need of support, the Lions are always reliable and will always try their best to respond. It is not uncommon to see the Lions clubs out and about doing sausage sizzles at the local Bunnings. They do the prize wheel draws at fairs and shows. In November, the Ballajura Lions Club was at the Wanneroo show running their prize chocolate wheel and generating funds for many good projects. The famous Lions Christmas cakes are always worth buying, along with the mince pies and Christmas hampers. I again congratulate the Lions clubs for all the great work that they do.

A similar club but dedicated more along the lines of business links are the Rotary clubs. Again, I have two Rotary clubs within the electorate of Cowan. The Ballajura-Malaga Rotary Club is led by President Patricia Canning and the spring fair committee is led by Gary Faas. Gary is quite an identity as is the iconic Ballajura spring fair. I always turn up to it and set up my tent, as do other members of parliament. Each year at the Ballajura Rotary fair I am used to seeing every member of the club. It is not a very big club, but the members are always there for the running of that great iconic fair within the Ballajura area. They include Fred Morrell, Karen Barry, Robert Barry, Clint Fricker, Sue Fricker, Geoffrey Knight, Steve Lennox, Peter Dunn, Robert Doohan, John Pelligrini, Shane Cross, Bruce Whitham, Lynette Rowe and Barrie Conway Mortimer. The Wanneroo Rotary Club is also in the north of the electorate of Cowan, with President Phil Cousins, President-elect Debbie Singh, Secretary Colin Parker and Treasurer Bill Kell. Fortunately, the Rotary clubs are always keen to do their best for the community, and I congratulate both the Ballajura-Malaga Rotary Club and the Wanneroo Rotary Club for the great work that they do within the community.

In the limited time that remains, I would like to speak about not a service club but a sports club, which is a real favourite of mine. I have always been fond of junior sport and sporting clubs in general because I believe that they provide a great opportunity for, and a great service to, the wider community. The Wanneroo District Netball Association is a very large organisation within the northern suburbs of Perth. Whilst it is located at the Kingsway Sporting Complex, with its 57 courts, the association draws clubs and players from across the whole of the northern suburbs. Thousands of players from the youngest net players all the way up to the ladies play there each Saturday. Whilst local residents might be a little concerned about parking issues and the traffic flows that emanate from such a popular sporting venue, for one day a week or one half-day a week it is probably not too much to ask for the great work that the association does.

The association was established with just six courts in 1974 and it has grown to a size where, last year, 433 teams played there each week. As I said, the association now has 57 courts of a high standard. Making up the committee is President Wayne Malloy, Vice President Estelle Walker, Director of Competitions Leanne Govorko, Director of Facilities Vickie Carstairs, Director of Umpires and Development Yvette Thomson, Director of Finance Jackie Horner. Melinda Dickson, Wayne Daley and Bridget Stonier Gibson are also members of the committee. They are all hard workers.

As with all sporting organisations, the coaches, managers and umpires are there with all the other volunteers to support the many schools and clubs that play each Saturday at the Kingsway Sporting Complex. They are all doing a very great job. They draw the many clubs, schools, children and ladies from across the northern suburbs to play there.

In the last minute available to me, I would like to pay tribute to the sad passing of a life member of the association and a very good friend of mine, Barbara Connett. She was a lady who had dedicated herself to many causes, and netball was one of them. She served the association faithfully for many years and was rewarded as a life member. She was also a loyal member of the Liberal Party and had been a booth captain for many elections as well as being a staff member for the Hon. Ray Halligan MLC. That was when I first met her. The last time I saw her was in November at a fete and she seemed to be fighting hard against the cancer afflicting her. I was surprised when, unfortunately, she succumbed quickly in the end and passed away on 14 December. I offer my condolences to her husband, Grant, and her daughters Amy and Rebecca. Barb will be greatly missed.

I have spoken a lot about volunteers tonight. They are the glue that holds our community together. They do great work and I pay tribute to them. I thank them for what they do. They are outstanding and long may we have volunteers in Australia.

Debate adjourned.

Main Committee adjourned at 19:2 6