Wednesday, 17 October 2018
Nepean Football Association, Lindsay Electorate: National Rugby League School to Work Program
The popularity of football in my area continues to rise. There are two fantastic organisations in my community I'd like to recognise today. One is the National Rugby League and the other is the Nepean Football Association.
The Nepean Football Association is responsible for over 1,000 teams with over 12,000 registered players and 31 affiliated clubs. The Nepean FC representative football club, the Nepean Referees Group and the Nepean Dragons special needs football club are also vital aspects of the sporting and recreational culture that is rapidly growing and fostered by the Nepean Football Association. The association also stands to promote leadership, friendship, skills, team work, fair and respectful play as well as skills development.
Local sporting and recreation in my electorate of Lindsay has never been more important. Research shows nearly six in 10 people in the Nepean Blue Mountains area are overweight or obese, according to expert figures. Getting active and healthy has never been more valued in our area. I'd like to formally recognise the great work the Nepean Football Association does to keep our community active and foster the important values we can all be proud of.
The Penrith Football Club, an institution in our community, was recognised for having reached 50 years. The Henry Lawson Club was recognised for having reached 40 years and the Glenmore Park Football Club for 25 years. Thank you to the volunteers who keep those clubs running.
I'd like to recognise the following people who make great the work that the Nepean Football Association does: the chair, Frances Refalo, and the directors, Greg, Stacey, Gail, Martin, Di and John. I also recognise Laurie Solomon, who has served the club for 30 years with the Nepean Football Association, and James Rankine, who has accredited over 600 coaches. I thank Linda Cerone, who has given 20 years to our local community in her role. Thanks to Colleen, Alicia, Caitlin and Ryan as well. I want to say a big thank you to all of the volunteers, parents, coaches and managers who turn up week in, week out.
I'd like to mention the valued work that's done by the NRL through their School To Work Program, which is an education and employment program that supports and encourages young Indigenous Australians to stay at school and aspire to their goals. It assist them with transitioning to further education and employment. The program has supported more than a thousand Indigenous students since 2011, with a 95 per cent success rate. I think that we'd all agree that that is quite significant. We've had over 1,000 Indigenous kids since 2011 who have gone on to do some amazing things. Young Indigenous kids are often left behind and face obstacles in our education system. I think we are all too well aware of that.
I'd like to take this opportunity to recognise the class of 2018 from my electorate: Bayley Blackmore and Mitchell Nicholls from Jamison High School; Jay-Renee Hardy and Shivahni Nair from Colyton High School; Louise Neville and Jack Wheatley from Cambridge Park High School; and Lily Popovich and Ashley Bridge from Caroline Chisholm College, alumni of my former school. I commend the graduating class and wish them all the best for their bright futures, and I thank Jaymes Boland-Rudder, the NRL's head of government and community relations, for bringing these individuals to my attention and always inviting me along.