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Monday, 26 February 2018
Page: 1967

Ms TEMPLEMAN (Macquarie) (16:35): I was delighted to be able to attend recently the ZEST Awards, which celebrate the inspiring successes of the community workers and groups across Western Sydney. Many of my constituents were recognised for their contribution, both paid and unpaid, and I want to name just a few.

Stephanie Oatley, who is CEO of Platform Youth Service, was admitted to the hall of fame which recognises outstanding lifelong achievement in the sector. She's been dedicated to providing a service for young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, strongly advocating for localised responses to the issue.

Lyn Bevington and Judith Hawkes, both from the Mountains Outreach Community Service, were nominees in the Outstanding Not-For-Profit Community Leader Award. I wouldn't have liked to have been choosing between them, as both have been community service leaders for many years. Judith was highly commended for her work, which has included the Paint the Blue REaD literacy program and the Aboriginal Artists in Blue Mountains Schools project.

I also want to acknowledge Uncle Greg and Aunty Carol Cooper, who were part of the event. Aunty Carol is a ZEST ambassador, a descendent of both Gundungurra and Darug people. She was awarded a community volunteer trophy in 2012 and continues to be involved to support community workers who she interacts with in her own volunteer work.

Also a quick shout-out to Michele Ellery, who established Queen of Hearts. She lives outside of my electorate but she well deserved her award. Congratulations to all winners.