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Tuesday, 25 May 2010
Page: 4042

Mr BRADBURY (4:25 PM) —Last Friday, I had the great pleasure of attending the official naming of Kevin Dwyer Park at Roper Road in Colyton. Kevin Dwyer OAM was one of the fathers of modern Penrith City. He passed away on 15 December 2004.

The naming of this park was an important occasion, not only for the family of Kevin Dwyer but for the entire St Marys and Penrith community. Kevin served as an independent alderman and councillor for 22 years on the Penrith City Council, between 1977 and 1999. Over those two decades, Kevin was elected mayor three times and deputy mayor 12 times—a record of service that is arguably one of the most impressive in Penrith’s history.

Kevin’s history in our area went back further than just his time on council. He was a descendant of James McCarthy, who settled in what is now known as Cranebrook in the late 1700s. As an East Ward councillor, Kevin was passionate about growing and supporting the community and building a sense of belonging. He was part and parcel of the St Marys community. Moving there with his wife Margaret in 1968, Kevin went on to become a member of many of the great community institutions that have come to form the fabric of St Marys: the St Marys Band Club, the historical society, the Lions Club, the St Marys Development Committee and Our Lady of the Rosary Parish.

In 1995, Kevin was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to local government, and in 2001 he was awarded a Centenary Medal. Even after his career in local government concluded, Kevin continued to be an integral part of many of the organisations he had helped build.

As my election to Penrith Council came in 1999, at the end of Kevin’s period in office, I did not have the opportunity to serve on council with him. I did, however, benefit greatly from Kevin’s wisdom, advice and wealth of contacts as he mentored me in my early days as a councillor. It should be pointed out that Kevin’s wife Margaret not only supported him throughout his local government career but played an important role in many of the community groups in our community, and continues to do so today. I would also like to acknowledge Kevin’s daughter, Ann, and her children, Bradley, JD, Justine and Simone, for keeping the Dwyer family legacy alive and for continuing to represent the values that Kevin epitomised.

I would like to thank the St Marys Band Club Rangers Football, who proposed the name for their home ground to Penrith Council. One of the greatest legacies of Kevin’s contribution to our community stands on Mamre Road, in the wonderful facility that is the Don Bosco Centre. Without Kevin’s assistance this facility would never have been built. Whenever I take my children down to the centre, I point to the picture of Kevin—that hangs in what is known as ‘Sir Kev’s corner’—and reflect upon his efforts. In the same way, Kevin Dwyer’s contribution will live on in the park that now carries his name.