Thursday, 1 August 2019
One of the great privileges of being the member for Ryan is the opportunity to come into this House and talk about some of the tremendous talent that we have, the talented individuals that make up the electorate, particularly when it combines one of the other passions of mine, which I spoke about earlier this week, increasing female participation in sport.
I want to take the opportunity to talk about Lilly Meldrum, a constituent of mine in the Ryan electorate, aged just 11. She's a school captain at Kenmore State School, so she is already distinguishing herself and her leadership capabilities. She's a talented athlete with a passion for sport. She plays touch football, she has been her school athletics champion and she has represented her school in cross-country at the state championships. You can already see that she has natural talent.
But her real love is a sport that she picked up as a hobby. Playing with her dad, Stuart, several years ago at the age of just nine, she picked up the sport of snooker. Quickly, she showed real talent in this sport, a sport that I might point out is normally dominated by men. Her coach suggested she take part in the 2018 national snooker and billiards competition in Adelaide, such was her progress at such a very young age. Lilly was the runner-up in the mixed under-12s in this tournament, and then competed in the under-18 girls tournament.
She continues to work on the sport with her coach, and she is progressing well. She has a passion for the strategy and tactics of the game, and it's driving her continuous improvement in the sport. Only 18 months after picking up the cue, Lily won the 2019 Australian under-12 mixed gender and the under-18 girls snooker championships. What an exceptional 11-year-old it is who is the Australian girls under-18 snooker champion! What a tremendous achievement at her age!
Given her victory, she's now been selected to represent Australia at the World Open Under-16 Snooker Championships being held in Russia. That's the world championships, so if she's successful—if she wins—she will be the world under-16 snooker champion on behalf of Australia. But even if you don't win, Lily, we will be tremendously proud of everything that you have already achieved and your success in the sport. So, win or lose, I'm sure you will make your country very proud at the upcoming events in Russia.
I look forward to seeing what she continues to do and the promise that she makes in her very impressive sporting career going forward. It's a pleasure to be able to support her and to recognise her as one of the great achievers in the Ryan electorate. Lily Meldrum, congratulations and all the best of luck.