House debates

Thursday, 10 December 2020

Constituency Statements

Greenway Electorate: Vineyard Public School Breakfast Club

10:30 am

Photo of Michelle RowlandMichelle Rowland (Greenway, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Communications) Share this | | Hansard source

We take so many things for granted, and having regular meals is one of them. But it's estimated that up to one in five Australian children could be missing out on meals, for many different reasons. It's a shocking statistic. But the awesome staff at Vineyard Public School have decided to do something about it. They've started a free breakfast club. Each morning, staff voluntarily arrive early at school to make sure their students are learning on a full stomach. The breakfast club is generously supported by Riverstone residents and community organisations, including Foodbank and the Riverstone-Schofields RSL. Donations are always welcome, including non-perishable items. I recently visited the school to make a donation of reusable bowls, plates and cutlery and a new toaster. The staff are passionate about what they do, and this initiative is making a real difference to the attentiveness and behaviour of students in the classroom. Congratulations to the team at Vineyard Public School for your leadership and for making such a big difference to these children's lives.

I also want to acknowledge a hidden gem in Lalor Park: the Hub Markets at the Lalor Park Community Hub on Heffron Road. The markets comprise locals selling handmade crafts as well as jams, bric-a-brac and jewellery. The stallholders are so passionate about what they do. I want to mention Jimmy Singh, who is a good friend of mine and a keen woodturner. It was a pleasure to visit Jimmy at the markets last month to pick up some unique Christmas presents for my friends and family. I also scored a stash of chutneys, mustard, jams and pickles that I've brought to Canberra for my colleagues to enjoy. If you're in need of some Christmas gift ideas, there's still time to pop down to the markets. There is a twilight session on tomorrow, Friday 11 December, from 2 pm until 7 pm. Please consider supporting our local stallholders when you're shopping for Christmas gifts this year. Shop small, and shop local—because local small businesses have done it tough this year, and they need our support more than ever.

On a final note, I want to wish all the residents of Greenway a very merry Christmas and a happy new year. 2020 has been an incredibly difficult time for so many in our community, particularly with necessary restrictions meaning we haven't been able to mark important occasions like Easter or Anzac Day as one community. But because of the community's hard work and willingness to follow health advice, we're now in a position where we can gather safely, and I thank all the residents of Greenway for the way in which we've conducted ourselves over the past couple of months. May this Christmas period bring you joy and happiness, and I wish you very well for the year ahead. If you are travelling on our roads, please do so safely. I look forward to continuing to work for you as our local member of parliament in 2021.

Photo of Jason FalinskiJason Falinski (Mackellar, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I hope the member keeps a COVID-safe distance as we descend on her office for the chutney! I call the member for Leichhardt.