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Thursday, 24 June 2004
Page: 31753


Mr WILKIE (10:28 AM) —Over the last couple of months, I have been hosting a number of seniors information forums in my electorate. More than 500 people have been to these forums and they have heard from guest speakers from a range of government departments and service providers. I thank Steve Trevisiol from Centrelink, Len Rathmann from the Office for Seniors Interests, Graham Whitworth from the Department of Veterans' Affairs, Carole Martell from the City of Canning, and Mary Band from the Harold Hawthorne Senior Citizens Centre.

There are over 20,000 people aged 60 and over, almost a quarter of the population, in my electorate of Swan. Community centres like the Harold Hawthorne centre in Carlisle provide a valuable service to the community. The Harold Hawthorne centre comprises a community care centre and a day centre. The community care centre is specifically designed to enable the elderly, frail and disabled and their carers to remain in the sanctity of their own home. They provide support services like Care Aide, which provides personal care to seniors in their own homes or help with transport to the bank or a doctor's appointment. They also provide Help Aide, which provides services such as basic housework, washing and ironing. They also do gardening and home maintenance. These programs allow for seniors to remain in the comfort of their own homes. For many, it is the home they have lived in all their married life. It allows for seniors to enjoy the companionship of their neighbours and retain their independence. These services also help the elderly to avoid premature, permanent care in age care facilities like hostels and nursing homes.

The Harold Hawthorne community centre also has a day centre. It offers a safe and secure environment for not only seniors but also younger people with disabilities so they can get together on a social basis. Just as importantly, it allows for respite for carers while their patients are at the day centre. But there is more. Besides what I have already mentioned, the seniors gold mine in Carlisle offers a Meals on Wheels service as well as a dining room serving three-course meals. It also runs a pensioner league and offers a podiatry service. Seniors can also participate in other activities at the centre, like indoor lawn bowls, bingo, billiards and art and craft groups, or they can spend time in the highly popular Internet lounge.

I could go on about the myriad range of activities at the Harold Hawthorne centre, but I would like to focus on the people who work there. They are a dedicated group, and I commend them for their efforts in bringing comfort, care and a bit of fun to the elderly, infirm and disabled in the electorate of Swan. I would like to mention in particular the Hon. Dr Cheryl Davenport, who is a member of the Harold Hawthorne centre board of management and convenor of the HACC subcommittee. Cheryl works tirelessly for both staff and clients at the centre. Mick Lee, the mayor of Victoria Park, co-founded the centre with Harold Hawthorne and is a member of the Harold Hawthorne centre board of management. Graeme Prentice is the executive director of the centre and treasurer for the Home and Community Care service.

Mary Band is the HACC program coordinator. Mary manages the Home and Community Care and adult day centre. The agency's rating has risen from a basic to a high standard since Mary took over in August 2002. Client numbers have also increased by over 100 in this time. Mary has given very generously of her time to attend the seniors forums, and I thank her most sincerely for her efforts. Heather Cordy, the day centre coordinator, and Janice McCooke, the client services coordinator have both recently obtained certificates III and IV in community services, aged care. Nancy Seaman is the assessment and review officer, and Kerrie Jones is a senior administrative assistant. Gloria Del Borrello is the office support worker at the Harold Hawthorne centre, and there is also a great team of care aides, home helpers and gardeners/handypersons who are too numerous to mention.

Another employee at the Harold Hawthorne centre is Phyllis Brown, the centre's secretary. Phyllis has had 30 years experience at the centre and does a great job organising events. Another long-term employee at the Harold Hawthorne centre is Lorraine Hazeldean, who looks after the Meals on Wheels service. Lorraine has also worked at the centre for over 30 years. In the Meals on Wheels kitchen there is Belen Paet, the cook, and Jo Jay Phillips, the assistant cook. They are both long-serving employees and the real backbone of the kitchen. They are ably assisted by a great team of hardworking kitchen hands.

Finally, the crew from the seniors Internet lounge deserve mention. Jim Booker is the coordinator. Jim started at the centre as a volunteer driver. Now, with volunteer mentors Lorraine Major, Thelma Dyer and Dave Masshedar, Jim runs this extremely popular seniors Internet lounge. They are at the lounge every day, supporting the senior students and helping them experience the World Wide Web and the advantages of email. I congratulate the Harold Hawthorne centre on their worthwhile achievements, and I am pleased to have recorded today in this place their outstanding service to the local community.