Tuesday, 17 October 2023
Barton Electorate: Local Community
One of the privileges of representing the people of my electorate of Barton is sharing in their passion for our local community. Over the past six weeks, 40,000 people across Australia gave their time and skills to speak to their neighbours, family and friends about the Voice to the parliament. To the 540 people across the Barton for Yes campaign, I want to say thank you. These volunteers were from different cultures and different faiths. Some were seasoned campaigners, but for many it was their first campaign. They spoke about the hope of the next generation of Indigenous Australians about closing the gap. By the end of the campaign, these volunteers had knocked on 20,000 doors and spent time at dozens of train stations and street stalls. Their passion and drive inspired me in my travels across the country. We didn't see the result we were hoping for in the referendum, but it was heartening to see the passion for reconciliation and closing the gap, not only in my community but in communities across the country. Those wonderful volunteers have my gratitude from the bottom of my heart. I also express my gratitude to the many residents of Barton who sent their well wishes to my electorate office.
I would also like to acknowledge and celebrate the birthdays of two of my centenarian constituents. Mrs Edna Berry of Bexley turned 107 on 7 October, and Mrs Dolores Esangga of Hurstville will turn 102 on 5 November. Mrs Berry was born in Picton in 1916. With her husband, Hugh, she had four children and cared for two others until their adulthood. Her daughter Paulene says she has a lot of grandkids and great-grandchildren and loves them all dearly.
Mrs Esangga was born in Pampanga, in the Philippines. She lived in Papa New Guinea before moving to Australia in 1987, and Hurstville in 1988. Mrs Esangga has five children, 23 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. I wish them both good health and many happy returns, and all my very best to their families.