House debates

Monday, 15 June 2020

Statements by Members

Curtin Electorate: Ocean Heroes

4:38 pm

Photo of Celia HammondCelia Hammond (Curtin, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I recently met with Luke Hallam, one of the founders of the Ocean Heroes, a fantastic volunteer based organisation that provides children with autism the opportunity to take part in that great sport of surfing. Children growing up with autism face unique challenges that can make it very difficult for them to develop self-confidence and socialise. Luke, together with his friends Sam Moyle and Tom Johnston, saw a much-needed gap in the community and started Ocean Heroes to provide children with the unique opportunity to experience the thrill of catching a wave in a supportive environment. Luke shared with me stories of children who had never been to the beach before and the joy that they had in being able to participate in an activity that they might normally feel excluded from. He also told me the stories of the joy that it brought to their parents, seeing their child connecting with others, having fun and developing confidence. I'm delighted that Ocean Heroes was successful in securing a federal government volunteer grant which will help them purchase new surfboards and enable more volunteers to be involved. Thanks to the generosity of supporting organisations, individuals and grants, Ocean Heroes is able to host public events with one-on-one lessons to children with autism. I'm looking forward to seeing the surfers in action once large public events are safe to go ahead again.