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Wednesday, 20 February 2019
Page: 14192


Dr McVEIGH (Groom) (10:21): Last Friday, my wife and I attended a resilience breakfast at Sunrise Way, an alcohol and drug rehabilitation centre in our home of Toowoomba. Resilience was obviously the topic, the theme, of this breakfast. It was tremendous to hear from the guest speaker, former Wallaby Andrew Slack, who, in a fairly humble, self-deprecating speech, explained his own need for resilience from time to time in dealing with the challenges of life and his own career, obviously. He explained that he was no different from anyone else when faced with challenges: we simply need to get on with it. It was the theme that reflected the history of Sunrise Way, this drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre, since its establishment some years ago.

Wendy Agar, the CEO, hosted a tremendous breakfast. She and Carla Canning and others lead a great team at Sunrise Way, and I congratulate them, as well as the board led by a good friend of mine, Shane Charles, for their ongoing efforts. Sunrise Way has had a history of originally being supported by community leaders, including Doug Harland and, most particularly, the then mayor, Di Thorley, who got behind the concept of establishing this drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre in our city to service the region. I congratulate them. I also congratulate the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service, led by Dr Peter Gillies, and the chair, Mike Horan, and so many others in our community for getting behind it. I guess that is the focus of Sunrise Way: to continue to secure community support for this important work.

Sunrise Way has really got on with the job. It has not defended the efforts of many to seek government funding, although that's very important going forward. They've got on with the job and, as former Wallaby Andrew Slack said: they certainly got on with the job to secure support from the community. So this is largely community funded. They haven't waited; they haven't demanded government funding, but they have been able to secure it from time to time. This is very much led by the community.

I want to congratulate those involved. I want to ensure that people know that patients are the resilient heroes from Sunrise Way. At the breakfast, we heard from two graduates. One was a young man who explained his efforts to get off ice, in particular, and his recognition of the stress that he was causing his family. Sunrise Way enabled him to realise that and to start putting his life back together. The other was an older gentleman who recognised that he needed to not only quit those habits but also not keep company with those who had encouraged him to do it in the past—another wonderful learning exercise. Congratulations Sunrise Way for your ongoing efforts in our community.