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Tuesday, 14 February 2017
Page: 1030

Mr GILES (Scullin) (16:37): I rise to celebrate the great depth of community spirit that exists in Melbourne's northern suburbs, particularly in the Scullin electorate. I was very pleased to spend 26 January at Nillumbik Shire in Diamond Valley and then at the city of Whittlesea to share in the joy of 200 new Australian citizens and their families, to share in their joy at completing their journey to full participation in Australian life and to share their stories and the diversity that has already and will continue to enrich our community. It is such a privilege to be able to participate in citizenship ceremonies, something I know that all members of this place will agree with me on. And it was such a privilege to be able to share with them some of the wider benefits of active citizenship.

At both citizenship ceremonies I attended, I was very pleased to see some outstanding individuals in our community recognised for their voluntary contribution to Melbourne's north. I take this opportunity to pay tribute to a few individuals who were recognised locally and who deserve to be recognised in this place. Firstly, the Nillumbik Shire Council Citizen of the Year was Nikki Waterfall, who established the Diamond Creek parkrun three years ago because, as a new mum, she was interested in the local community and bringing people together to be healthy and active. The parkrun she established, really entirely off her own bat, is now one of Australia's largest and, I am told, one of Australia's most successful. I say 'I am told' because, while Nikki has kindly suggested that I join the park runners, five kays seems a long way for someone of my age and condition. But I congratulate Nikki for tis vital work that she has done not just in boosting health and wellbeing but in really boosting community in Diamond Creek.

I also acknowledge the wonderful contribution of Tabitha Anderson, the Whittlesea Council Young Citizen of the Year. She has played a great role as part of the Scullin Youth Advisory Committee, and she is a young woman who is already a role model. Trevor Carroll has been a consistent advocate for inclusion and disability in the city of Whittlesea, particularly on issues of public transport. He has been a frequent visitor to my office on a range of issues and he is a powerful advocate. It was so pleasing to see him recognised in respect of his activities. Finally, Elizabeth Pratt was named Whittlesea Council Senior Citizen of the Year. At 92, she has spent 90 of those years in the city of Whittlesea and has always given to others.

It was inspirational to see these four wonderful people recognised on Australia Day. I take this opportunity to also recognise them here and to acknowledge what an impact they have had.