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Wednesday, 23 May 2018
Page: 4430


Mr THISTLETHWAITE (Kingsford Smith) (10:02): On Sunday, 13 May, more than 400 Kingsford Smith locals turned out for the Biggest Morning Tea Bangladeshi style at Mascot Public School. They were raising money for cancer research, and while the rain poured down, the spirits were high. I'm proud to represent a community with a very active and passionate Bangladeshi community, which has been running this event for more than a decade. I have been delighted to see the growth, over those years, of the celebration of volunteering, community spirit and delicious Bangladeshi food.

The annual Good Morning Bangladesh morning tea has so far raised over $220,000 for the Cancer Council NSW. I want to thank the many volunteers, young and old, who have contributed their time, energy and outstanding cooking skills for this great cause—they helped turn a good morning into a great morning—and a very special thank you to Azad Alam for helping to organise this year's event and raising funds for the Cancer Council's vital work and research into cancer and its causes.

I'm also happy to report that on Sunday I was again proud to be part of the Running for Premature Babies team that competed in the Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon. After losing their first-born triplets in 2007, Sophie Smith and her late husband, Ash, of Coogee established the group known as Running for Premature Babies to raise money for the Royal Hospital for Women's newborn intensive care unit in Randwick, including for medical research and equipment. This group is an inspiration. Sophie Smith has motivated thousands of people to run on her team in the half marathon and raise funds this wonderful cause.

I can now update the House that this group has raised over $2.5 million for the Royal Hospital for Women in Randwick. This year, the Running for Premature Babies squad entered the event with the goal of raising $250,000. So far, they have smashed that goal, raising a whopping $350,000 for new equipment and research into premature babies. They had close to 500 runners, and were by far the biggest team in the event. Congratulations to all the members of the Running for Premature Babies team, in particular to Sophie Smith, the leader of the group, but also to Mandi O'Sullivan-Jones, the coach. I wish to pay special tribute and give a shout-out to the dads from St Angnes' Primary School, my kids' local school. Michael Ghattas, Paul Maurice and Johnny Vigliante, well done, it was great to run with you guys. And Sophie Smith, you are a legend.