House debates

Monday, 29 July 2019

Constituency Statements

Lindsay Electorate: Cranebrook Breakfast Club

10:38 am

Photo of Melissa McIntoshMelissa McIntosh (Lindsay, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I have long had a connection to the suburb of Cranebrook, having lived there. It's in the electorate of Lindsay. I am proud to say that now I'm their federal representative in parliament. I talk a lot about Lindsay's community spirit. In Lindsay, it's not just in our foundation; we are overflowing with it. A wonderful example of community spirit is Cranebrook Breakfast Club, run by Nepean Community & Neighbourhood Services, or NCNS.

I first met kids and families at the breakfast club earlier this year and they told me they needed a new van to help get kids to school. In May this year, I announced that the breakfast club would receive $40,000 to help with the purchase of a second van for the morning school run for local students because their first one was at maximum capacity. This extra vehicle means that the centre will be able to double the number of kids being picked up and dropped off at school. These are vulnerable kids who normally have a very low school attendance rate, and attending the breakfast club is having positive outcomes on school attendance as well.

A special mention goes to NCNS's Joy Impiombato for her tireless advocacy to get this funding over the line. We all play a role in the education and future of our children, and Joy is making sure that our local kids are nurtured and nourished to keep them at school.

Each day the Cranebrook Breakfast Club is held at the Cranebrook neighbourhood centre between 7.30 am and 8.45. Local volunteers provide free breakfast to students, parents and carers from Cranebrook High School and Braddock Public School. All students are welcome to attend, and over 500 breakfasts are served each week. I've mentioned cheese toasty Wednesdays in my maiden speech because they're the best, and I've also heard that there are Milo Thursdays and a wide range of food and healthy choices for the kids. Not only does the centre provide breakfast, but kids are also taught to make and prepare their own lunch toss encourage healthy lifestyle choices.

In 2017 the centre asked local kids, 'What is Brekky Club for you?' Some of the responses were: 'because I don't eat breakfast at home', 'daily routine', 'friendly faces', 'you can see your friends from high school' and 'just in case you didn't get to have breakfast'. At one of my visits to the breakfast club I met a young indigenous student from Cranebrook High School named Rhys. His mother works at NCNS, and he told me that he would like to study law. Many people who work at the centre believe Rhys has a bright future, and I look forward to seeing him succeed.

breakfast club is only one of the many programs run by NCNS, who are also helping people experiencing homelessness, distress, helplessness and misfortune. An important part of the breakfast club is that kids have healthy meals before school and their attendance is increased.