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Monday, 2 May 2016
Page: 4145


Mr COLEMAN (Banks) (17:07): I am very pleased to have the opportunity this afternoon to speak on a number of community organisations that are so important in my electorate of Banks. Yesterday afternoon, I attended the Padstow RSL swim school award presentation down at Padstow RSL. It was a great event, recognising the achievements over the past year of the kids who are in the Padstow RSL swim school. There were a couple of hundred people there and it was great to see the environment celebrating the achievements of the kids. I presented the Banks outstanding sporting achievement award to the brother of Emily Halloran. Emily could not be there on the day, but it was great to acknowledge her commitment to the swim school over many years. I would also like to thank Phil Kennedy, the president of the Padstow RSL swim school, for his hard work, and indeed the entire committee. Thank you again to everyone at Padstow swim school for all of the great work that you do.

One of the good things about being a member of parliament is that you get to attend a number of commemorations each year on Anzac Day. One of the most moving commemorations that I have attended was the commemoration on 8 April at Picnic Point High School. This was a very special ceremony which was very highly produced by the students and staff of the school. It featured serving military and veterans; there were representatives from local RSL sub-branches including Gary Murray of Panania Diggers and a number of representatives of the education sector as well. It was a solemn service. It included various speeches and poems and a number of other quite moving elements. It was an immense credit to everyone at Picnic Point High School. I would like to congratulate the school and its principal, Wolly Negroh, and I also thank the Sydney University Regiment for their support of that very important event.

I also recently attended Panania Scouts. Panania Scouts is one of the most active Scout troops in the electorate of Banks, and I visited the 2nd Panania Scout Group meeting. They have Cubs, Joeys and Scouts there, and the day that I visited was the first day back in term 2. There was a lot of enthusiasm and there were a lot of happy sounds from the kids, who were pleased to be back. There were lots of games, and they were learning about skills such as with ropes, first aid and various other skills that were practised on the night. It was a very nice evening, and I want to thank Lionel Pascoe, the group leader, who has been involved with the Cubs for more than 25 years, and also Mehru Roshan, the group Cub leader, who I had also met with on Clean Up Australia Day. They are a terrific group of Scouts at Panania, and it was a tremendous visit.

I would also like to acknowledge and thank the Hurstville Ladies Probus Club, who meet at Penshurst RSL. On 13 April, I visited the Probus club. The Probus community in my electorate of Banks is extremely strong, and I estimate that up to 1,000 people visit a Probus club at least once a month. At the Hurstville Ladies Probus Club there are a large group who meet there and enjoy the social aspect and a range of other activities that take place at the Probus club down there. Thank you to Lynette Jones, the president, and also to Yvonne Hankin, the secretary, for having me along to meet the members. I very much enjoyed it and appreciated the invitation.

As I mentioned before, Anzac Day is a particularly important time of the year. I also attended a church service at St Mark's Anglican Church in South Hurstville to commemorate this most important occasion, Anzac Day. That service was conducted in conjunction with South Hurstville RSL Sub-Branch. Importantly, the commemoration featured a reflection not only on the Australian and New Zealand experience at Gallipoli but also that of the Turkish soldiers and the Turkish people. Wreaths were laid on the day by representatives not only of Australia and New Zealand but also of Turkey, and it was nice to see that on the day. I would like to thank John Busuttil from South Hurstville RSL Sub-Branch and also the Reverend Peter Greenwood of St Mark's Anglican Church for this very solemn and thoughtful service.

Also in relation to Anzac Day, on 28 April, late last week, I attended Panania Public School's Anzac service. This was a very impressive service, conducted entirely by the kids. Panania Public School is a primary school, so these were kids no older than 12, and they conducted the entire ceremony with a number of readings; various songs, hymns and so on; and a wreath-laying service. It was a great credit to the kids, who behaved with great reverence during the commemoration, and it was a very positive reflection on the school. I would like to thank Principal Sandra Palmer and everybody who was involved in making that event come together.

My electorate is a very diverse community, with people from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds, and one of the important communities in our area is the Sikh community. Earlier in the month, on 10 April, I visited the Sikh temple, Gurudwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, at Revesby. I have been to the temple on a number of occasions in recent years, and I find that it is always a great experience to go along, say hello and discuss various matters with the local Sikh community. On the day, one of the things that I learned a little bit more about was the involvement of Sikhs in World War I in various British regiments. It was an interesting reflection on that historical period to understand more about the contribution of Indian Sikhs in World War I. I would like to thank Terry Sidhu, the President of the Temple, for his hospitality and the ongoing relationship that we have built in recent years.

There is no more important community group for young girls in my community than the Girl Guides, and one of our strongest girl guide groups is at Mortdale. On 5 April I attended the Mortdale Girl Guides AGM. Mortdale Girl Guides has been going for more than 90 years, so it has a very long and proud tradition, and it features Gumnuts, Brownies and Guides. Every time I go along to the Mortdale Girl Guides I am always very impressed by the nature of the group and by the professionalism of the volunteers, and by the good manners and hard work of the Guides who do a lot of good work in our local communities and support charitable organisations and do many good things for the community, whilst also growing as kids and as individuals. Thank you to Jenny McRitchie, who is the leader at Mortdale Girl Guides, and all the other leaders who are involved there.

The Stronger Communities Program is a really important program that allows for modest financial support for important capital projects. One of the important projects in our local community has been the Kids in the Kitchen project at Padstow Park Public School. Organised by the P&C, the goal of this project is to give kids greater skills in cooking and for kids at the primary school to learn more about cooking and various culinary techniques and so on. We were able to provide a grant of $5,000 through the Stronger Communities Program. I would like to thank Wendy Lindsay, the P&C President, and Jane Mollica, the Principal, for all the work they do. The kitchen facility will be of broad benefit to the Padstow community and I am very pleased that we were able to assist with this important grant for this very worthy project.