Wednesday, 27 November 2019
I will start by acknowledging that there is a larger contingent in the chamber tonight, so obviously word got out that I was on the list! I will take it as personal validation that you're all here. I'm going to do a little bit of a different adjournment speech tonight, because it is the last one I will do for the year. I want to acknowledge four different people and organisations in my electorate who have done some amazing things.
I'd like to start with Nancy Martin, who recently retired after 40 years of service at Tabulam Public School. She moved to Tabulam in 1979 with her husband, Bob, and children, Bobby, Kerrie and Fiona. She worked casually at Bonalbo and then Mallanganee before becoming permanent at Tabulam. Nancy, or Ms Martin as she was known to students, worked alongside nine different principals and many different teachers. She was very much loved by the school community and indeed the wider community. She is currently on a very well earned holiday and will then move into retirement. Thank you, Nancy, for a wonderful career.
The Clarence Valley has always had a very strong sporting identity, which was highlighted in the recent Clarence Valley Sports Awards. This year there were over 16 different sports represented at the awards. I'd like to congratulate Andrew Landenberger, for sailing, who won senior sportsperson of the year. Ashley Ensbey, for hockey, and Mitch Christiansen, for athletics, were tied in winning the people's choice award. Tom Hancock, for athletics, won the Loving Life FM Masters Sports Awards. Dakoda Walters, for surfing, won junior male sportsperson of the year. Tahlia Marsh, for BMX, won female sportsperson of the year, and what a wonderful young lady she is. She competed internationally in her sport this year. Tracy Moran won the Clarence Canegrowers Association Ernie Muller Award. Lynn Rudder won the Tooheys Max Godbee Award. The Clarence Valley BMX Club won DEX Club of the Year. The Grafton Ghosts, who had a great year this year, had their first grade win Telstra Team of the Year. They absolutely smashed the Coffs Harbour team. I'm very glad that the member for Cowper is sitting with me—actually, I think you owe me something on that, too, Member for Cowper, as we smashed you in the grand final! Ray Wiblen, from Yamba Boaties, won Athlete's Foot Coach of the Year. Rod and Janet Gould—what great people they are—won the Holly Butcher Memorial Volunteer of the Year for hockey. Gary Nichols, for rugby union and cricket, was the DEX Contributor of the Year. Chris and Shirleyanne Blanchard, for hockey, won Contributing Photographer of the Year. These were the sixth annual awards. I want to make special mention to Grafton Shoppingworld, the Daily Examiner and the Grafton District Services Club for their ongoing support and sponsorship, which is very important. I congratulate all of the winners and finalists for the wonderful sportspeople they are in our region.
Deputy Speaker Wicks, I know you like boxing, and I'd like to recognise Clarence Valley boxer Adam Stowe, who is really making a name for himself. Last Saturday in Tweed Heads he claimed the World Boxing Foundation super middleweight Australasian title fight. Stowe's trainer, Troy Harding, said the whole place erupted when the Yamba boxer won the fight. Harding has been training Stowe from his very first fight, and the Clarence raised fighter has surpassed all expectations. He had a lot of support from the whole of the Yamba and wider Clarence Valley community, his wife and his wife's family, all knitted out in 'Team Stowe' shirts for the fight. Like any champion, there is a team working behind the scenes who share the success, including Adam's manager, Tony Tolj, and his entourage: Dean Cribb, Shane Martin, Norm Harvey and, most importantly, his wife, Ellynie. But thanks must go to some of our local businesses who have also financially supported Adam along the way—Australian Soil and Concrete, East Coast Access, Big River Scaffolding Solutions, Total Concrete and Excavation, and Advanced Plastering Australia. I'm told Adam is ready to defend his belt and is looking forward to where the next win will take him. Congratulations Adam!
I invite my colleagues to come to Grafton in November—and I know some of you have already done so. In October in Grafton we celebrate the annual Jacaranda Festival. This is Australia's longest running floral festival. This year it turned 85. I would like to personally thank this year's management committee—Jeff Smith, Nicholas Buckler, Wendy Gibbs, Peg James, Leanne Williams, Mark Blackadder, Leanne Smith, Kyle Summers and Jaz Grady. The market square played home to the crowning of the 2019 Jacaranda Queen and Junior Queen, which is always a highlight. The Jacaranda Queen entrants included Zahli Stevens, Ashleigh Sampson, Hayley Hedges, Dana McKew and Holly Hastings, but taking out the crown for 2019 was Ashton Blackadder. Congratulations Ashton! Congratulations also to junior Queen Brigette Jamieson and all the other entrants.