Wednesday, 3 February 2021
Barton Electorate: Australia Day, St George District Cricket Club
On 26 January, which is a very fraught day in our Australian story, I attended a number of ceremonies. Firstly, I went to the WugulOra ceremony at Barangaroo, a cleansing ceremony and part of the official Australia Council celebrations. I then had the privilege to attend two citizenship ceremonies in my electorate, one in Bayside and the other at Georges River. It is such a privilege, and I know all of us do it, to be able to attend these ceremonies and to share such a personal moment with our newest citizens: the beginning of their new lives in Australia. I've always said that it is an honour to represent Barton, one of the most culturally diverse electorates in the country—although my colleague the member for Watson might dispute that! We share a very similar demographic. I told the people at the citizenship ceremonies not to forget their language, their culture and their stories, because that is, in fact, what enriches us as a country. I also want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the way in which the citizenship ceremonies I attended incorporated the story of First Nations people, recognising its sacred place in the Australian story. I rounded the day off, on 26 January, by speaking in a panel at the Dendy in Newtown, where the film Australia Daze was screened. It depicted 26 January in 1988.
I also want to pay homage to the St George District Cricket Club. On 16 December I was delighted to attend the launch of St George District Cricket Club's Hall of Fame, located at the Norm O'Neill indoor facility. Kevin Greene, who is the mayor of the Georges River Council, is also a keen cricketer and officiated at that ceremony. The year 2020 marked the club's 100th season in the New South Wales premier cricket's first-grade competition. The Hall of Fame saw 16 new inductees from the club's first 50 years. I had the great privilege of meeting three of these inductees: Brian Booth, Warren Saunders and bowler Keith Francis. Nine of these inductees played test cricket for Australia. I want to congratulate the inductees and their families, as well as club president, Georges River mayor, Kevin Greene, on this auspicious occasion. It was truly a great morning—COVID-safe, and a great morning tea as well.