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Monday, 9 December 2013
Page: 2039

Mr MORRISON (Cook) (10:46): I rise to pay tribute to the selfless volunteers in my electorate of Cook. The Cook Community Awards acknowledge selfless volunteers who serve our local organisations quietly, passionately and consistently over many years. Last Saturday, families, friends and supporters of a special collection of volunteers gathered in Sutherland to honour the service of so many quiet achievers, as the Cook awards were presented to volunteers from local schools, sporting clubs, church organisations, surf clubs, youth clubs, Meals on Wheels, seniors and disability services. Over 40 recipients were provided with Cook awards. Combined, they make up more than 750 years of service in our community, which is an extraordinary achievement and was a pleasure to recognise. They each made that decision to make a difference in their own lives and to their community; they have achieved a great amount.

The Cook Medal was awarded to Mrs Betty Etherden, who was nominated by the Parent to Parent Association. That association was established in the 1980s to provide a direct service to people with disabilities. It supports families in the Sutherland Shire. Mrs Etherden embodies the dedication of so many volunteers who give so much to our community when they have little to give themselves and often face additional and significant challenges in their own lives. She was a founding member and remained an active volunteer all these years until her very recent retirement. Not only does she care for others; she remains the carer for her intellectually disabled son and disabled husband. It was an honour to award Mrs Etherden the Cook Medal for her dedicated service. She represents so many other dedicated people in our community who think first of others and follow that through with actions over a long period of time.

On Saturday, together with the four Bate Bay surf clubs—Elouera, Wanda, North Cronulla and South Cronulla—we set up the Cook Community Classic. The classic raises money to support community organisations and culminates with a family fun day and surf carnival at South Cronulla beach and park. This year, the festival raised over $110,000 for 45 charities, bringing the classic's cumulative fundraising total to well over $400,000 since we first started many years ago.

It is a community event run on the generosity of local volunteers. We thank all of those volunteers, particularly our sponsors: IMB, Qantas, The Leader, Sydney Airport, Sydney Airport, SITA Australian, Caltex, AHA, Olsens, McDonalds Sutherland Shire Restaurants, ANSTO, VICI, Westfield Miranda, Sharks, Storage King Kurnell. I particularly want to thank Julie Adams and Pam Brown, and Louise and Meredith from my office, for their tireless efforts to bring this wonderful event together each and every year. It is servicing so many great local community organisations in the shire, and we are so pleased to be able to play a small role in assisting them to raise the funds that they need to do the great job they do for our shire.