House debates

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Statements by Members

Veteran Sport Australia

1:40 pm

Photo of Pat ConaghanPat Conaghan (Cowper, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Earlier this month, my family and I spent a few hours playing lawn bowls with veterans and their families at the Port City Bowling Club. The day was organised by Rachel Kerrigan, the veteran engagement specialist with Veteran Sport Australia. VSA works as a peak body to develop a strong and connected system of sporting opportunities for veterans and their families. As part of this important work, VSA partners with sporting bodies to open up opportunities, break down barriers and roll out initiatives to veterans and their families, whilst at the same time advocating for, and creating a greater awareness among the veteran community about, the benefits of sport and activity to physical and mental wellbeing. I would like to acknowledge the work that Rachel Kerrigan does and also the fact that she has lived experience. Rachel is an Afghanistan veteran who has been through her own mental health journey and has told me how powerful sport is for the road to recovery, healing and finding purpose. She, like many, has a remarkable story.

Thank you to the Port City Bowling Club for hosting the day. I have to acknowledge 12-year-old Wauchope Public School student Brayden for putting me to shame on the bowling green. Finally, I would like to say thank you to all our veterans across our nation for their service.