Wednesday, 4 March 2020
O'Connor Electorate: Australia Day Awards
I rise today to speak of two women in my electorate of O'Connor who are making outstanding contributions to their respective communities. Both of these well-deserving women, Susan Findlay from Albany and Christiane Smith from Esperance, were recognised earlier this year by their communities, being chosen as citizens of the year for 2020. Esperance Citizen of the Year, Christiane, is the secretary of Farmers Across Borders - Hay from WA, which coordinated several charity hay runs from WA to drought affected communities on the east coast. Christiane is an active member of the Quarry Road bushfire brigade, protecting her community from devastating fires when the need arises. In addition to these impressive pursuits, Christiane is also vice chair of Moving Movies Esperance. She's a volunteer broadcaster at Hope FM. She is talented musician and has served on the board of the Esperance Care Services, which is a wonderful organisation, which I have supported right through my time in parliament.
Sue Findlay is another woman to receive well-deserved recognition with a long history of dedication to the Albany community. Sue is the director of the Albany City Wind Ensemble and founder, musical and creative director of About FACE youth choir. Sue has an enthusiasm for developing the musical skills of others and a passion for initiating authentic performance opportunities for youth. Sue is rapidly becoming a sought after industry figure for choral and performance collaboration, having been approached by both interstate and international musical groups such as the Sydney Male Choir, the Pennsylvania Girlchoir and the WA Opera. About FACE, initiated by Sue to fill the gap in regional support services for youth, is now a recognised community asset, providing a supportive place for youth to be engaged as members of their community. Excitingly, About FACE, directed by Sue, will be representing Australia at the International Youth Music Festival in Bratislava later this year. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank and recognise both Sue and Christiane for their outstanding contributions enhancing the life of our regional communities. Thank you.