Bankstown Council Australia Day Celebrations

About this Item
SubjectsHolidays; Bankstown City Council; Honours
SpeakersAshton Mr Alan
BusinessPrivate Members Statements

Page: 6363

    Mr ALAN ASHTON (East Hills) [5.26 p.m.]: As probably all honourable members would have done in their electorates, I attended the Australia Day celebrations in my electorate. Bankstown council, being one of the largest metropolitan councils, had a tremendous day on Monday 26 January. Events were held at the appropriately named Paul Keating Park in the centre of Bankstown. I congratulate those people involved in the process on the way the event was run. The entertainment was special. Those involved included the Bankstown division of Scouts, the Bankstown division of Girl Guides and the Fifth Bankstown Islamic Charity Projects Association drum band. David Gordon, a former student of Picnic Point High School, was the soloist for various anthems and songs. Mayor Helen Westwood conducted events very well and Fred Malone welcomed everyone on behalf of the Gandangara Local Aboriginal Land Council.

    Also of interest on the day was an address by Matt McFadyen, a young man who recently, with others, sailed to Antarctica. It was a brave effort. On the way back his boat was overturned by a huge wave and he and his fellow sailors were lucky to escape with their lives, although the suffered some injuries. Matt received some sponsorship from Bankstown council and Linddales Personnel. Radio 2UE has also taken an interest in him. Nominations for the Community Services Award Organisation included the Reflections Team, a group of the United Muslim Women's Association, and the Bankstown Bushland Society. The award was won by Bankstown Bi-Centenary Youth Foundation Inc.

    The Australia Day Award nominees for the Community Services Award Individual were Florence Bryce, Cathy Don—who, together with her husband, Frank, have raised thousands of dollars for local hospitals through their annual flower shows—Catherine Fletcher, Gurmeet Kaur, Robert Garside, Monica Garside and Ann Thompson. The winner of the award was Catherine Fletcher, who is well known in the Greenacre area for her involvement in Scouts Australia and her services to Greenacre Public School.

    Many great people in Bankstown give up much of their time to volunteer their services, as do the residents of many other electorates. The Australia Day Award nominees for the Volunteer of the Year Award were Julie Barnes, Linda Belani, David Collins, Betty Fennell, Fred Gentle, Christine Gordon, Cyril McColough, Raymond Robb and Robert Stevens. Time does not permit me to give a detailed biography of those people. The winner was Raymond Robb, who had been made a life member of the Chester Hill Neighbourhood Centre. He has also been a volunteer bus driver, a volunteer in promoting the Seniors Card, and a volunteer support worker on holidays for people with disabilities. Raymond was working about 100 metres down the track when the Granville disaster occurred, and he was one of the first on the scene to offer help. He stayed with one of the victims until she was freed from the wreckage. Members of Parliament give a lot of their time to community service, but, of course, we are paid to do it, whereas these people give their time voluntarily. It is important to remember that.

    The Young Citizen of the Year Award was won by Danielle McHugh, whom I know. Danielle was last year's school captain of Picnic Point High School, my old school. More importantly, she has excelled as a regional school sports representative in water polo, cross country, swimming and athletics. She was a gold medallist at the National Surf Life Saving Championships, as well as a volunteer at Wanda Surf Club. In her spare time—she also did very well in the High School Certificate, so I doubt that she would have had much spare time—she did voluntary work at the Caroline Chisholm Special School.

    The Australia Day Award nominees for the Citizen of the Year of Award were Harry Brian, Harry Collins, Cathy Don, Frank Don, Tess Goodstate, Irene Jones, Michael Katzakis, John Killey and Feda Rifai, and the winner was Harry Collins. Harry has served on a number of ministerial advisory committees. He is the Vice-President of the Coolaburoo Neighbourhood Centre. Harry has suffered many health problems, including cancer. Someone who has had that sort of illness is a fine example of what people can do. He was the facilitator of the Bankstown Men's Cancer Support Group, and he introduced the concept of developing a support group for isolated older men in our community. Harry is committed to multiculturalism and reconciliation, and he is always looking for ways to improve people's outlook. Steve Mortimer received the Bankstown's Australia Day Ambassador Award.