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Wednesday, 13 September 2017
Page: 119


Mr VASTA (Bonner) (10:15): Today I want to focus on young high achievers I have met recently from my electorate of Bonner. I recently had the pleasure of presenting young sports stars in my electorate with their Local Sporting Champions awards. The Local Sporting Champions program is an Australian government initiative that provides $500 grants to young sportsmen and sportswomen aged 12 to 18 to help cover the cost of attending state, national and international sports championships.

There were 35 successful applications from Bonner for the latest Local Sporting Championships round. Five of these sports stars attended my presentation ceremony last week. There was Ella O'Grady from Wynnum North, representing Metropolitan East School Sport at the state football championships. Ella hopes one day to play for the Matildas. There was Luisa Gauci from Chandler representing Queensland at the Youth Women's national baseball championships. Luisa is the first Brisbane girl to compete in the national Kookaburras team and was recently in Korea representing Australia.

A division having been called in the House of Representatives—

Sitting suspended from 10:17 to 10 : 31

Mr VASTA: I will continue. Mitchell Torrens from Manly West is participating in BMX Queensland's Queensland State Championships at the junior elite level. Ethan Bennetts from Carindale is representing Queensland Athletics at the Australian Athletics Championships. Ethan is a gold medallist in the hammer throw event and intends to represent Australia at the Olympics one day. And Erin Hopgood from Wynnum West is representing Redland City GymSports at the TRP State Age Championships.

The government is proud to support our talented young sports stars and to help them achieve their sporting dreams. Good luck to our local sporting champions at their upcoming championships. I encourage other eligible sportsmen and sportswomen in Bonner to apply online.

Recently, I also got to meet some outstanding language students from Mansfield State High School. Eight of these students have received scholarships to travel to Kobe in Japan this month. I also wish bon voyage to French language students heading off to Rouen on exchange. Congratulations to these excellent students; I was happy to present them with Australian flags and other items to take on their trip.