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Thursday, 26 November 2015
Page: 13940

Mr BYRNE (Holt) (09:37): On Monday 14 December, I am going to have the pleasure of hosting the 2015 Holt Community Spirit and Leadership Awards at the Cranbourne Community Theatre. We hear a lot about what is wrong with our kids. It does not take much to read a local paper and to see some misdemeanour or something that is written in a negative way about our young people. We have so many young people in the constituency that I am honoured to represent.

Fourteen years ago I decided to initiate an award called the Community Spirit and Leadership Award to emphasise that there are so many young people who we do not hear about who contribute so much to the school community and to the general community. We wanted to emphasise and focus on this awareness and actually recognise this in front of the community. Fourteen years later—this is the 14th anniversary since the awards were initiated—we are doing that.

People are voting with their feet. We have a very large attendance at these award ceremonies. We will have up to 300 people at the Cranbourne Community Theatre, and it is wonderful to see the families, friends and teachers of the schools coming together to hear the statements about the young people who are making their school community and the community a better place.

There are 55 schools that participate in this award. Fifty-five schools—that is a lot. We are never short of nominations; they come from the teachers. The award itself is awarded by the school to the student. It is not a student who has to be the most academically qualified student or the most brilliant sports student but that person who makes a difference, who goes above and beyond for other people.

In the time I have available, I want to talk about two, without pre-empting the award ceremony at the Cranbourne Community Theatre. One recipient—I will not name the school—is Georgia. Georgia, in the words of the teacher and the people involved, is a natural leader. She has had the opportunity to demonstrate her leadership qualities inside and outside the class in particular ways. She organised the girls' netball team to compete in the international netball competition held at Waverley Netball Stadium. She arranged multiple training sessions and meetings outside of school hours to assist the team, and she captained it in a particular way—she led by example. She inspires by her individual example and by her conduct. She is a very competent and good sportsperson, but her main contribution is in inspiring and leading others and putting others ahead of herself. That is a great credit to her and her family. I look forward to presenting the award to her on the 14th.

There is so much good about our young people. I hope the contribution that we make in amplifying the good in our young people outweighs a lot of the negative stuff that we hear and read about on a regular basis. (Time expired)