House debates

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Constituency Statements

Australian Food Allergy Foundation, Watts, Mrs Margaret, Sandringham Foreshore Association

10:20 am

Photo of Tim WilsonTim Wilson (Goldstein, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I would like to start by commending the spirit of the mentions by the member for Melbourne about everybody's responsibility to stand up to racism and marginalisation of others, and to make sure that that is always the tone we set in this parliament.

Goldstein is made up of exceptional individuals. Today I want to pay gratitude to the wonderful women of Goldstein who make a significant contribution, and there are three in particular that need to be singled out today. First is Patricia Ilhan, who is the chair and founder of Australian Food Allergy Foundation. When the late telecommunications entrepreneur and businessman 'Crazy John' Ilhan and Trish discovered one of their daughters had severe anaphylaxis to tree nuts, they decided to act. Very little was being done for 10 years to investigate the growing problem of food allergies and anaphylaxis. With a gift of $1 million to help find a cure for anaphylaxis, the Ilhans backed Australian scientists find out more and work towards a cure.

The Australian Food Allergy Foundation has raised more than $2 million through a series of events, activities and galas, one of which I was very fortunate to attend recently. It was a wonderful night in tribute to John Ilhan as a result of his work and his legacy. This money is going towards research into vaccines and implementing allergy training in schools and kinders across Victoria, and I have no doubt their work will go on to influence the country as well as overseas.

Trish, you have shown incredible leadership in your role. You are not just a great contributor through the issues around allergies but also a philanthropist. Goldstein says thank you.

Today we also honour a woman who has sadly passed away, Margaret Watts. Margaret's sporting passion saw her become a foundation member of the Victorian Ladies Yacht Club at Sandringham. Together with many of her high schoolmates, they formed the club before they had any boats. Apparently, the reason for a separate yacht was due to the fact that women were not able or allowed to crew for men but, rather than complain, they acted. The ladies would ride their bikes from school to the club and sail VJs—a two-person sailing boat, for those of us not familiar—and it was here Margaret met some of her dearest friends, most of whom had their own boats. Thank you, Margaret. Your contribution continues and your legacy lives through the lives of others.

Finally, Dr Vicki Karalis, the president of the Sandringham Foreshore Association, has successfully campaigned for funding to protect our shoreline in Goldstein. During my regular shuffles—or runs, shall we say—I see the growing erosion along parts of our bayside shoreline, and it has progressed. It is up to people like Vicki who have taken action. The Sandringham Foreshore Association under Dr Karalis has fought for the rejuvenation of the foreshore, a vital asset in our community. Today, we give thanks to Trish, to Margaret and to Vicki—and all the wonderful women of Goldstein—for their leadership in our community.