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Monday, 25 June 2018
Page: 6288

Mr ROB MITCHELL (McEwen) (16:15): Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of going down to the Wallan Football and Netball Club for their Sponsors Day. It was one Magpies team I was happy to see win on the weekend. On this day of celebration, I want to acknowledge the incredible work of the club's dedicated members in recently saving the life of one of the young footballers, Liam Birch. Liam had a heart attack during the recent game against Rupertswood. We were very fortunate that there were people there like Tony Freeman, who acted on his instincts, along with members who were quick to help Liam and support his dad, Adam. This is what community spirit is all about. As a founding member of CERT, I've seen how critical those first moments of an event are in ensuring the safety of people.

Sometimes, communities are not as lucky as Wallan. On a day in 2010 which I won't forget, coincidentally in Rupertswood, Stephen Buckman lost his life in a similar but more tragic set of circumstances. It was the beginning of a journey. His mum, Sue, and the first responding paramedic, Andrew White, created Defib your Club, for Life!, now known as Defib for Life, to prevent such tragedies in the future. This year, we've seen the great work of the Andrews Labor government in having a defib your sporting club grant and we've seen how many progressive clubs have taken these home.

When you see these events happen and talk to families, it motivates me to convince the Department of Finance and the Special Minister of State to get defibrillators in every MP and senator's office for these crucial moments when time works against us. We are all in very high-traffic locations, so it's important that we have defibs in our offices that could help save lives when every second counts.