House debates

Monday, 13 November 2023

Statements by Members

Victorian Senior of the Year Awards

1:53 pm

Photo of Daniel MulinoDaniel Mulino (Fraser, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

On Saturday I marked Remembrance Day at the Sunshine RSL, alongside returned soldiers, members and volunteers. While the occasion was about acknowledging past sacrifices, in an increasingly uncertain global environment our armed forces continue to play a significant role in peacekeeping and other capacities. Occasions like Remembrance Day also bring into sharp relief the vital welfare support that our RSL branches provide to our returned veterans, so I would like to acknowledge the extraordinary voluntary contribution of Lesley Twidle, who has served as secretary of the Sunshine RSL for more than 16 years.

Lesley and her team organise the ANZAC Day community commemoration march and the ANZAC Day dawn service and breakfast, among many other events every year. Lesley also coordinates the welfare program, including fundraising for ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day, with up to $40,000 raised. She also coordinates the weekly Sunshine Harvester Day Club, which is a lifeline for many, particularly the surviving partners of returned soldiers. The meals, entertainment, trivia events and other social activities are a real highlight.

For 15 years Lesley also spent one night a week volunteering with St Vincent de Paul's soup kitchen. In recognition of her work, Lesley was recently honoured with a Senior Achievement Award in last month's Victorian Senior of the Year Awards and was given her award directly by the Governor of Victoria. A teacher for 35 years, Lesley began volunteering with the RSL as soon as she retired from the classroom. Lesley, thank you for your service.