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Wednesday, 15 June 2011
Page: 6207

Mr MORRISON (Cook) (09:52): I wish to inform the House of an immensely successful community event, one of the largest of its kind in New South Wales and certainly the biggest in the shire—the Sutherland Shire Relay for Life. It is run for the Cancer Council. These relays for life are held all over the country and I am proud to say that the one in the shire is one of the largest in the country, exceeded only by those in places like the entire city of Perth. One part of Sydney is doing an incredibly great job.

The relay was held over a very wet weekend down at the athletics track in Sylvania Waters, from 30 April to 1 May. I was pleased to be there to join them and I pay tribute to the great resilience of the entire community turning out to support this great event. It was the 10th anniversary relay. It went ahead with over 6,000 participants who walked many, many kilometres around the track to raise $650,000 for the Cancer Council despite the inclement weather. In the words of the organisers, 'This just goes to show the tremendous attitude of everyone involved in this wonderful event. Those fighting cancer don't get a break when it rains, so neither do we.' That was the spirit on display.

I want to pay tribute particularly to the convener of the shire's relay for life, Mr Rod Coy, and his entire management team. There is a cast of tireless community servants that Rod brings together to run this event, and he is but one of those. I know he thinks of himself like that, but someone has to steer the ship and Rod does it incredibly well, inspiring all of those others. Rod is himself a survivor and has been involved in this event for some time. He has been instrumental in raising over $3 million through the Relay for Life for the Cancer Council in the Sutherland Shire. As I said, Rod is a survivor, and he is an inspiration to many in our community. I had the pleasure of awarding Rod the Cook Community Medal in 2009 as part of our annual Cook Community Awards for his outstanding leadership and community service. This award singles out selfless volunteers in recognition of their contribution to our community.

Relay for Life is a unique fundraising event that brings communities together in the fight against cancer. As Rod says: 'Perhaps you've been touched by cancer; perhaps not. Whether you are a survivor or a carer, are supporting friends or loved ones or simply want to make a difference, Relay for Life empowers everyone who participates.' I commend all of those who got involved with the Relay for Life again this year in the shire and thank all the participants who turned up and walked those many kilometres, those who did the marathon, those who were there serving in the stalls and supporting the organisation, those entertainers who came along and all those who were there. I want to thank Dr Charlie Teo in particular for coming down and being there for the event as well. I commend this event to all members. I know members of this House across the political divide are involved with this great initiative, and I commend it to them. I thank again the Cancer Council and the shire Relay for Life team for another job well done. (Time expired)