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Monday, 19 October 2015
Page: 11741


Mr COLEMAN (Banks) (18:28): I am pleased this evening to have the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the work of a number of important local organisations in my electorate. Just yesterday afternoon, I was fortunate to visit the Lugarno Music in the Park organised by the Lugarno Progress Association. The Lugarno Progress Association has been in existence for nearly a century, since 1922, and is led by president Joan Curtis, who is ably assisted by treasurer Ken Mason. Ken is a musician of some repute. The LPA had the idea of making use of the natural amphitheatre that is Evatt Park and having a music event in the park. Yesterday was the first time that this event has been run and it was very successful. It was a free event for all the community to attend, and when I attended there were several hundred people there. We heard from lots of great local acts. Ken Mason's band, the Kenny Ansett All Stars performed, including Nick Jefferies, Tim Bowen, Paul Mason and Marcello Maio. Ross Ferraro performed. There was also a performance by the Lugarno Public School choir. They are a particularly good choir. Each year at local Anzac Day and Remembrance Day ceremonies, the Lugarno Public School choir do a wonderful job, and that was certainly the case yesterday. They sang a number of quite modern songs and provided a great contrast with all the other different musicians who performed. Also as part of the event, there were a number of different food stalls offering food from all corners of the globe. I do very much want to thank the Lugarno Progress Association. It is one of the strongest community organisations anywhere in my electorate. As a resident of Lugarno, it is something that I know a little bit about, and I certainly do appreciate their work very much.

I would also like to acknowledge and thank the efforts of the St George Football Association, and, specifically, the gold medal dinner that was held on 25 September. The St George Football Association is the single largest community organisation anywhere in my electorate, and across the St George district about 10,000 people play football—or soccer, as some of us refer to it—every single week. So 10,000 people across St George are playing football every week. To organise an event of that size is a massive undertaking, with literally hundreds of games taking place every single Saturday. On 25 September the annual gold medal dinner was held at Club Central, one of the finest venues in our region, and I would like to take the opportunity to thank the club, led by its chairman, Bernie Holdsworth. Club Central puts an enormous amount back into our community, and was a very gracious host on this particular evening.

There are lots of terrific football teams in my electorate: Connells Point Rovers, Hurstville Zagreb, Oately RSL, Forest Rangers, Hurstville City Minotaurs, Hurstville Glory, Lugarno, Peakhurst United and Penshurst West—to name just some. The football community is a very, very active community.

I want to highlight a few of the particular winners on the night. Jacky Finlay Jones won the gold medal award for her longstanding contribution to football in the region—that was a very well deserved award. The Stan Moses Shield, which goes to the club with the best A-grade team in the St George Football Association went to Connells Point 13A, which had a pretty stupendous record during the year. Connells Point is one of the biggest clubs in the region and Steve Matthews and everyone down there at Connells Point do a fantastic job. Connells Point also won the AS Tanner Shield, which is presented to the club that wins the most points in the premier league. Congratulations to them. I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the St George Football Association president Sok Mallios, the directors Angelo Bonura and Ivan Pavelic, the acting secretary Vicki Philips and everyone else who is involved. To run an organisation that is so large is a very large undertaking, and these people do that in a volunteer capacity. For that, we think them.

Also in September, I had the opportunity to visit Bridgeview Cottage in Beverly Hills. Bridgeview Cottage is run under the auspices of UnitingCare, who run a significant number of retirement villages, day care centres for the elderly, and many other important community services. One of Bridgeview Cottage's most important programs is a seniors living program focused on people in the Hurstville, Kogarah and Rockdale local government areas. The centre provides information, support and care for seniors, activities such as health and well-being seminars, social participation and improving people's daily lives. There are lots of activities: games, music and singing, reminiscing about earlier times and many other activities. I know that the activities that are run at Bridgeview Cottage mean a lot to the people who attend them, and I thank the Healthy Living for Seniors' coordinator, Jennifer Fowler, and everyone else who is down there.

I also want to thank my friend Ricky Chu. Ricky runs the Chinese community programs at the same centre. My electorate has the largest proportion of Australians of Chinese background of anywhere in the nation. About 20 per cent of all people in my electorate are of Chinese background. Ricky runs a number of programs, particularly for seniors, in the Chinese community. To demonstrate the depth of his success in doing this, Ricky received the inaugural UnitingCare Inspired Care Volunteer Award for his contribution to the Healthy Living for Seniors program run for Chinese seniors. That UnitingCare award is not just for the Bridgeview Cottage, Beverly Hills; it was for across the entire state. So Ricky has been named as volunteer of the year across all UnitingCare facilities in our state, and that is a tremendous testament to his efforts. He provides a lot of social support to elderly people in the local Chinese community, and, Ricky, thank you again for all of your efforts.

I would also like to acknowledge another important community group in my electorate, the group Asian Women at Work. It is based in Bankstown but has a substantial number of activities in Hurstville, the largest centre in my electorate. The group provides advice for women on industrial and workplace issues, provides leadership development, training programs and a whole range of other things. It is quite a list: art classes, English classes, a book club, drumming classes and a whole range of different activities. When I visited them recently, on 22 September, we had a really good discussion about issues and local community and things that could be better in Hurstville. One of the concerns in Hurstville has been the prevalence of crime in recent times, and I was pleased to hear directly from the members of Asian Women at Work on how we could take steps to reduce crime in the area. I want to thank St George local area command for their active efforts in this area, in particular meeting recently with the southern region Chinese Business Association to discuss concerns about crime in Hurstville.

When I was at the event, the Asian Women at Work group presented me with a really beautiful artwork. That artwork now has pride of place in my office. It was a very nice gesture. Angela Zhang runs the program and all of the activities in Hurstville, and Lina Cabaero has a broader management responsibility across the entire organisation in Bankstown and elsewhere. I am fortunate to have so many great organisations in my community. Those are just four of them, and I am pleased to have the opportunity to thank them for their efforts.