Thursday, 10 December 2020
Page Electorate: Dunoon United Football Club
I'd like to acknowledge the incredible success of the Dunoon United Football Club. Dunoon is a great little village in my community. It's home to around 1,000 people in the village and surrounds. Despite its small size and the club only having been founded in 1984, they have on average 250 players a season, with 15 to 20 teams. The club was recognised as club of the year for northern New South Wales in 2013 as well as the best sports organisation at the 2018 Australia Day awards. The social six competition started in 2015 and now has 25 teams focusing solely on the social benefit of community sport. The teams are for all ages and all skill levels.
Dunoon United have also shown enormous success in developing female football. Females make up nearly 50 per cent of the player base, and the club has produced a huge amount of representative talent: Claire Farrington, Breanna Gatt, Jazmin Bertuzzi, Nina Collins, Darcy Heffernan, Gabriella Hill, Cassandra Hill, Emily Bloomfield and Audrey Jones all came through the juniors at the club and have gone on to play national Premier League or higher. I may be a bit biased, but Rosie, my daughter, was a pretty handy player for the club as well, I thought! Claire Farrington has gone on to play for the Brisbane Roar and has now moved to America to play college football.
I'd like to acknowledge the current executive. To President Liz Vickers, Vice-President Simon Webster, Brenda Reyes, Rob Gatt and the committee: Leisa Hofstetter, Luka Taylor, Gary O'Connell, Linda McDonald, Bruce Nixon, Max Nunnen, Abbey Hodson, Vanessa Eden, Scott McNeil and Jess Hyde. All their successes are through hard work and a clear vision of the purpose they have for the club. I believe the club is one of the finest examples of community sporting organisations I've seen.
I'd like to acknowledge the incredible career of Michael Smith, who has retired from the New South Wales Ambulance service after 41 years. Michael was born and raised in Lismore and joined the ambulance service on 15 October 1979, aged just 19. When he joined, it was just nine weeks of training and he was straight into the ambulance as a paramedic. He's been stationed at the Lismore ambulance station for his entire career. He spent 25 of those 40 years with the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service as a paramedic and was one of the longest-serving helicopter paramedics in the state. His passion for his job has worn off on his family, too: his daughter, Lucy, is a paramedic in Queensland, and his son, Ben, is a combat medic who served in Iraq. Michael was very thankful as the New South Wales and Queensland health organisations organised for Lucy to spend the day working with her father on his last shift. He has recently won a New South Wales Service Medallion for his incredible career in service. I know his wife, Julie, and his children, Ben and Lucy, are very proud of him. Michael, I thank you for everything you have done for our community.