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Monday, 3 November 2003
Page: 21723

Mr SAWFORD (1:47 PM) —On 4 October my wife and I were invited by the Green Brothers Group, a most innovative company in my electorate of Port Adelaide, to the Port Adelaide Power Best and Fairest Presentation. There was an overwhelming endorsement of the football club by the largest attendance ever at a best and fairest presentation. Considering the disappointment again of a failed finals campaign, this augurs particularly well for 2004. However, the highlight of the evening was Gavan Wanganeen winning his first best and fairest award in 13 years of AFL football—the John Cahill Medal. In 13 years of playing in the AFL he surprisingly had never won a best and fairest award. Gavan, of course, had a stellar year and was most unlucky not to have won or shared in a second Brownlow Medal. How he was not best on the ground in the last game of the minor round is a mystery to me. Other awards given on the night were Best First Year Player, Toby Thurstan; Best Team Man, Josh Carr; Most Improved, Warren Tredrea; and Best Finals Player, Brendan Lade. Congratulations are rightly due to all those players and to the team and coaching staff for winning the minor premiership. Everyone knows minor premierships mean very little in the scheme of things. But there is a lot of stoic Scottish history and tradition in Port Adelaide and perhaps the words of Scottish poet Robbie Burns can be an inspiration for 2004: `Only the brave can turn defeat into victory.' Perhaps it is also a message for the Labor Party at the next federal election.