House debates

Thursday, 3 December 2020

Constituency Statements

Calare Electorate: Community Events

10:28 am

Photo of Andrew GeeAndrew Gee (Calare, National Party, Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education) Share this | | Hansard source

Today I rise to acknowledge some of the wonderful people in my electorate doing great things and setting an example for their fellow Australians about what it means to be part of a local community. Canowindra is a town of just over 2,000 residents in the Central West of New South Wales. Locals in Canowindra have contributed in many ways to helping the community thrive and to bettering the lives of those living around them.

Canowindra High School runs the Duke of Edinburgh program for students in years 9 to 12. This program has been running for several years and has recently been coordinated by former teacher Andrew Phelan and current teacher Janeen Coutanche. This extracurricular program takes an immense amount of organisation outside of school hours. Through the commitment and dedication of the many teachers involved, the students have experienced amazing heights, learned new skills such as leadership, archery and first aid, and have been actively involved in volunteering in their community.

Alison Stephens, the current owner Canowindra Tyre Service, is also an incredibly valuable asset to Canowindra's community. Al is recognised as a successful businesswoman and is also heavily involved in both Canowindra Public School and Canowindra High School through the P&C. Al is significantly involved on many levels in local sporting organisations such as netball, junior rugby and the swimming club. Within this involvement she has become a mentor and role model.

Kathleen Balcombe is a chemistry teacher at Canowindra High School and current year adviser of year 11. She's a fantastic teacher and another wonderful role model within the school community. Kath has raised her family in Canowindra and has been involved in the community for many years. She keeps her students' best interests at heart and encourages those of all abilities to participate within the school.

An inspiring local, Andrew Pull, has been instrumental to the success of women's rugby league in the local area. The growth of women's rugby codes in recent years has been significant and has provided equality in local sporting communities. Well done, Andrew.

Canowindra is a wonderful example of a rural community that, thanks to people like Andrew Phelan, Janeen Coutanche, Alison Stephens, Kath Balcombe and Andrew Pull, inspires young people to seize opportunities and gain knowledge and experience about the wider world.

I'd like to finish by recognising Claire Wright, the year 11 student at Canowindra High School who wrote this constituency statement for me. Claire is a young champion of her local community and country Australia, and I have no doubt that she will go on to do great things in life for both Canowindra and our nation. I have been mentoring Claire this year, through Regional Development Australia Central West's TEN4TEN mentoring program, and I have been very impressed with the example that she sets for others. One of Claire's goals in life is to study science to help farmers with sustainability practices on their land. She is Canowindra High's girls captain for 2021 and is part of the next generation of inspiring country leaders. Well done, Claire, and a big hello to everyone at Canowindra High who may be watching us this morning.

Photo of Trent ZimmermanTrent Zimmerman (North Sydney, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Calare and, with the member for Dobell, I congratulate Claire for her contribution and hope she writes all your future speeches as well!