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Thursday, 13 August 2009
Page: 7918

Mr CHAMPION (12:46 PM) —I rise to inform the House about two great community events that have occurred in my electorate over the last week. The first was the annual fundraiser for the Mallala Community Hospital, which was a very fun affair. It featured the renowned political journalist, Annabel Crabb, and our own Grant Cameron from the local ABC. It was a terrific fundraiser. There were a lot of familiar faces from places like Balaklava, Mallala, Two Wells, Owen, Hamley Bridge and Gawler.

It was a night of great humour. Mac Crabb, who is the chairman of the Mallala hospital board, is Annabel’s father. I think he helped to get her that night. It was a chance for Annabel to come home. I was reassured in the middle of her speech when she said about politicians:

Most of them are good on the whole and well motivated. There are not many bad guys, only there for personal gain and power building.

She then went on to rather ruthlessly, I think, make fun of us all—it was done in very good humour—to the delight of the crowd. It was a really great night, and I cannot tell you how much fun I had being there. It was reported in the local Bunyip newspaper as ‘Mallala becomes centre of political discussion’. In the Plains Producer it was reported as ‘Talking politics pays off’. A great night was had by all.

Mallala hospital is a particularly important institution for the town. It has a very active board, which is made up of Maxine Varcoe, who is the CEO, Ian Jenkin, Richard Verner, Mac Crabb, whom I have mentioned, Jenny Irish, John Tiller, Denise Goward, Sharon Henderson and Carol Baker. Over the last four years, they have raised over $150,000 for the hospital, which is a tremendous effort, and last Friday night, they raised $7,500.

I am proud to say that I did my bit by bidding $100 for a signed bottle of the member for North Sydney’s wine. I have that in my cellar back home in the City of Salisbury. I am sure he will be reassured to know that. The event was very popular and very well chaired by Paul Angus, who was the MC for the night. It was a very enjoyable evening. It is a great hospital and a great town, and I would like to commend them all on their efforts.

The other event in my electorate this week is the annual walk by Vietnam veterans from Port Augusta down to Kapunda. They did this walk in 2007 and raised approximately $30,000. This year, as I said, they are walking from Port Augusta to Wilmington, Gladstone, Clare and Kapunda. It is a journey of over 450 kilometres. There are overnight stays in Wilmington, Gladstone, Clare and Kapunda. They will arrive tomorrow in Kapunda, where they will be met by Mr Keith Payne VC, a very brave man, who has served this country admirably. Mr Payne will address the local high school—the high school that I am a graduate of, I am proud to say—and also the local primary school. It is a great event both for the Vietnam veterans and for the young people who are attending school in Kapunda.

I am very proud to say that the town has really got behind this event. I have to acknowledge the local sponsors: the Light Regional Council, led by Mayor Hornsey; Pat Hayward and Pam Laver, who are organising the trip; the Kapunda Football Club; JT Johnsons, a very prominent business; Roof Seal-Kapunda; Prior’s Auto Service; the Kapunda newsagency; and Menzel’s Meats. It is good to see all of those local businesses and local people, including, of course, the local branch of the RSL, getting behind such a good cause. This will raise money for the Vietnam Vets Children’s Education Fund, Legacy South Australia and Foundation Daw Park, which looks after South Australia’s repatriation hospital. My grandfather was treated in that hospital many years ago, and I know just how important it is for veterans and their families.

I should also mention teachers Peter Norde and Jennette Mickan from Kapunda High School and Di Jamieson and Brett Cummins from Kapunda Primary School, as well as Andrew Hayward from the Kapunda footy club, local Vietnam vets John Rees and Kevin Hudson and, of course, all the other people involved in this great event. (Time expired)