House debates

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Constituency Statements

2019 International Va'a Federation World Distance Championships

4:24 pm

Photo of David SmithDavid Smith (Bean, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Today I'd like to again draw the attention of this Chamber to an all-too-forgotten part of my electorate, a piece of Bean all the way out in the Pacific: Norfolk Island. However, more specifically I'd like to acknowledge and congratulate the remarkable achievements of a young woman by the name of Ada Nebauer. Ada is the Australian Outrigger Canoe Racing Association under 16 girls national marathon and national sprint champion.

In August this year the International Va'a Federation, the governing body for international outrigger canoe racing, convened its second world distance championships at Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast. Racing was conducted across six age divisions, with six-person and individual events. Ada raced in the under-19 girls and V6 events, with the Australian team, who placed fifth. Then, on Wednesday, 14 August, Ada contested the under-19 girls individual canoe event. Conditions made for a quick race. Ada overcame pre-race nerves to execute a strong start and led the race throughout and went on to win the world championship 16-kilometre event in one hour and 40 minutes.

Ada is just the second under-19 girls world distance champion, with the distance event having been won once previously, in Tahiti in 2017. Ada would like to thank the Norfolk community for all their support. It is an incredible result in women's sport for the community and for Ada. But she's not one to stand still. She's just been invited to join the Hawaiian under-19 girls to race the Molokai to Oahu event in Hawaii on 22 September, just before the Trans Tasman sprints on the Sunshine Coast.

I'd also like to draw the Chamber's attention to the amazing community service of Athol Williams to the electorate of Bean. Athol Williams has been an organiser with the SDA for 44 years. Over the past three or four years he has tried to retire, but his dedication and his capacity has meant that the SDA has not let him go until, finally, this week. Athol grew up in Canberra. He joined the SDA as a member in 1971 and then became a delegate and then, in 1975, a full-time official. Over that whole period, Athol has represented young workers from Eden to Goulburn and everywhere in between, ensuring they got reinstated, got paid correctly and were treated with fairness at work. I hope the Chamber can join in congratulating Athol on his major contribution to the electorate of Bean.