Constituency Statement: Mitchell Electorate

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Mr HAWKE (Mitchell—Minister for International Development and the Pacific and Assistant Defence Minister) (10:35): I want to acknowledge the member for Bruce's contribution and his call, and I respect in full what he said about his mother. It's a pleasure to rise and speak about my community of Mitchell and some of the voluntary efforts and outcomes that we've had. I want to draw attention, in particular, to some remarkable people who received the Order of Australia medals in the recent Queen's Birthday Honours List, including Roger Donsworth, for his service to the community through a range of organisations; Sally Hetherington, for service to the international community through charitable initiatives; and Peter Duncan, who received an AM for his service to the community through volunteer roles with a number of organisations.

Our community in Mitchell has a wonderful volunteer workforce as well. Volunteers are the stalwarts of our local community and permeate every aspect of Australian society. The Morrison government has been investing $20 million in volunteer grants. These have been well received. They're in recognition of the valuable role volunteers play in building resilient, cohesive communities, supporting individual participation in community life. In fact, it is not a lie to say the voluntary society has been the basis of success of Australia.

Eighteen organisations in Mitchell have been successful and are receiving the funding out of the voluntary grants, with $72,564 total funding allocated to Mitchell. I want to highlight a number of the recipients as a testament to the growth of volunteers in the Hills District. The 1st Rouse Hill Scout Group, a newly established group in a growing area, received $4,600 to establish and run the scout group efficiently. This includes leadership training, first aid certification and office equipment. Rouse Hill is one of the fastest-growing areas in my electorate and also the Sydney Basin. The Hills adult division of St John Ambulance Australia received $4,810 to provide equipment and enhance the quality of first aid training for their volunteers. The Castle Hill United Football Club received $5,000 for first aid training for their volunteer coaches and managers—approximately 80 people.

The Hills Shire Council's 2019 Locals for Locals Awards were also recently announced. In particular, I would like to commend Julie Warner from the Independent Business Network, who received the Business Award for Community Contribution; Miki Beer from Learning in the Hills, who received the Community Contribution Award for Education; Kirsten Groll, the Baulkham Hills Hawks AFL Club co-president, who received the Community Contribution Award for Sports and Recreation; and Kelly Doyle, the founder and managing director of Foster Care Angels, who received the Community Contribution Award for Community Service.

Jersey Day 2019 was held on Friday, 30 August, encouraging schools and workplaces across Australia to wear their favourite sporting jersey. I'm proud to say Jersey Day was founded by the Gremmo family from my electorate. They are a well-respected and much-loved family of volunteers and community people, following the tragic passing of 13-year-old Nathan Gremmo, who I have spoken about before in this place. Nathan's family chose to give the gift of life to others and donated his organs, saving the lives of six people, including a young baby. The service that the Gremmo family have provided by establishing Jersey Day around Australia, as it catches on, as it grows legs, as it grows strength in funding and opening conversations about organ donation has changed the face of our society and continues to impact greatly. I commend the Gremmo family for their great service to Australia.