House debates

Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Constituency Statements

Radio 1RPH, Local Sporting Champions Program, Ross, Ms Kathryn

9:33 am

Photo of Andrew LeighAndrew Leigh (Fenner, Australian Labor Party, Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury) Share this | | Hansard source

Located on the Barton Highway in Gungahlin, Radio 1RPH—radio for the print handicapped—is an independent not-for-profit organisation that provides a radio reading service to people with print disabilities, as well as to the general listening public. It is greatly appreciated by those with visual impairments but also by Canberra's taxi drivers, who often find themselves enjoying being able to listen to the newspaper as they go about their work.

The radio station had humble beginnings—broadcasting from a home in Ainslie in 1985. Since then they have grown and taken on their permanent premises. I want to acknowledge the executive committee of Radio 1RPH: Sandra Purser, Libor Pelecky, Ben Signor, Amelia McKenzie and Llois Cutts. I am looking forward to being back at Radio 1RPH to take a tour of the station, to meet and thank the volunteers, and perhaps to even read some newspaper stories on air.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting with recipients of the 2021 Local Sporting Champions grants. This year, basketballers, rope-skippers, swimmers and other athletes joined for the awards and came to my electorate office to hear from Paralympian swimmer Jesse Aungles. Jesse has studied at the University of Canberra, the university with the highest number of serious athletes of any university in Australia. He represented Australia at the 2016 and 2020 summer Paralympics, and was inducted into SwimmingSA's Hall of Fame in 2017. What was terrific about Jesse's conversation was that it went to so many of the issues that young athletes face: the challenge of balancing their study with their athletic endeavours; the drawbacks that come from injury and how you keep yourself mentally strong through an injured period; and the importance, which Jesse emphasised, of saying thanks to your parents, all the time, every day, for the extraordinary work that they do. I acknowledge those local sporting champions and their parents for what they give to Canberra's sporting community.

Congratulations go to rower and Fenner constituent Kathryn Ross for her silver medal in the PR2 women's single sculls at the World Rowing Championships. Kathryn Ross became an Australian Paralympic rower after taking up rowing in 2006. She's a four-time world champion, and has participated in four Paralympics, from 2008 to 2020. Kathryn and her rowing partner, John MacLean, missed out on the gold medal by less than a second. I acknowledge their extraordinary athleticism, and also the work that Kathryn does part time at the Australian Sports Commission, as well as studying nursing at the University of Canberra.