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Monday, 19 March 2012
Page: 3372

Mr BRADBURY (LindsayAssistant Treasurer and Minister Assisting for Deregulation) (10:50): Over the weekend I had the privilege of attending the Penrith Relay for Life inaugural gala ball. The Cancer Council's Relay for Life has been running in Penrith for the past 12 years. Each year local residents gather to walk around Howell Oval and pass a baton of hope for cancer sufferers and survivors. Through the relay our local community has raised over $1.2m for cancer research, treatment and prevention.

I would like to acknowledge all the unsung heroes, including relay committee members past and present who have made this fantastic event possible, in particular current chairperson Kris Gauci, who works tirelessly for the relay cause. Kris has lost a number of family members to cancer and is determined to contribute to the search for a cure. I also thank co-chair and cancer survivor Melissa Spurrier for all her tireless hard work. I acknowledge the significant contribution of Kevin Aussel in bringing the relay to Penrith. Kevin had Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma at the time of the first relay and saw out two relays before passing away in July 2003. His daughters Barb and Lynn have taken his place with pride on the committee since his passing.

I also acknowledge original chairperson Kath Toovey, who not only kicked off the first Penrith relay but who continues to lend a helping hand each year. You will often see Kath in her high visibility vest directing traffic to the parking area, along with her husband, Trevor. I thank Kath for her efforts to bring this fantastic event to our region. I also recognise current committee members and tireless volunteers, Ross Stein, Yvonne Cassidy, Deidre Chapman, Charlie Oxenham, Greg Sayers, Bruce Saunders, John and Gerard Buchtmann, Samantha Jarnett, Pat Spurrier and Kerry Lynne. I also thank Penrith City Council for their contribution; Clair and Anthony Vella from Beans and Mash Photography; and of course our famous local MC, Rossco Hutchison.

I would also like to acknowledge the many local businesses and organisations who have contributed to the relay over the years, in particular the Penrith Cricket Club, who kindly donate the use of their facilities, and the volunteers from Rotary who offer their services year after year. I also acknowledge the relay subcommittee, who each year run the Ceremony of Hope. In this moving ceremony supporters and volunteers remember those we have lost, celebrate survivors and unite with those who are still fighting.

Penrith Relay for Life is a wonderful event that unites our local community in a common goal, to help find a cure for cancer. I look forward to seeing a baton of hope being passed around Howell Oval at the relay this year and for as many years into the future as we need to in order to find a cure to this terrible disease.