House debates

Thursday, 30 November 2023


Hawke Electorate: Child Care, Hawke Electorate: Community Events

12:55 pm

Photo of Sam RaeSam Rae (Hawke, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Local families in Ballan won't have to wait much longer, with more early childhood education spots on the way thanks to a brand new federally funded service. The Albanese Labor government is investing $600,000 into the Yaluk Burron Early Learning Centre through the Community Child Care Fund limited supply grants program. This will mean more local families can get back to work when they want to, and it will give our little ones the best start in life.

It will be run by the stellar team at the Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative, including the general manager of early years, Casey Brown, and the amazing new centre director, Slavica Harrison. They've got the best staff going around, and they're ready to deliver world-class early education services for local families. Kids starting at this centre will also benefit from the Albanese Labor government's recently increased childcare subsidy, already making early childhood education more affordable for more than 6,800 families in Hawke. Thank you to early childhood education minister Anne Aly for your tireless work. It's making a real difference in the lives of so many in our community.

I recently dropped into the Hume Men's Shed in Sunbury. Dale, Albert, Chris, Ian, Peter and the gang showed me around the shed, sharing with me the amazing progress they were making on their projects, as well the important work they do to keep men in the area connected with each other. Men's Shed plays an important role in communities like mine and all across Australia. They provide a space for men to come together, work on projects and stay connected with one another. Men's Shed help to combat social isolation and break down barriers around health and mental wellbeing. The guys down at the shed are preparing for a garage sale this Sunday 2 December where they'll be selling their amazing handcrafted wares. I encourage everyone to get down there, pick up a Christmas present or two for your loved ones and support this important local organisation.

Earlier this month, my family and I joined thousands of local families in Melton for the annual Djerriwarrh Festival. It's been running strong for two years, with the organisers putting on a spectacular day once again. Kicking off with a street parade, our local schools, clubs and groups were well represented on the day. Our dedicated emergency services workers and volunteers also joined in on the fun.

The whole of High Street was absolutely chockers as thousands of people descended on the market stalls. There was fun for the whole family, with food vans, emergency services displays, a kids zone and cultural performances. Music, dancing, food and fun went on for the whole day. There was a stellar live music line-up, including legends Regurgitator, Pseudo Echo and many more. It was great to meet so many people at our Labor stall with Melton MP Steve McGhie and our incredible Labor volunteers who are always there with us rain, hail or shine. We capped off the night with fireworks, leaving Djerriwarrh Festival as yet another raging success for Melton. I want to give a special shout-out to all the volunteers and council staff who contributed in the lead-up to it and on the day—it couldn't happen without you. To our traders, restaurants, community groups and the whole community: thank you very much.

Earlier this month, the legends at Blackwood Special Schools Outdoor Education Centre organised the annual Super Ride from Blackwood to Trentham and Lyonville and back. Forty-five kids braved the hot weather to ride a 40-kilometre loop through some of the best scenery that Hawke has to offer. I want to give a big shout-out to the legendary campus principal, Tony, for organising this important event. I cheered them on from the sidelines. I would have liked to ride, but I'm pretty sure that the kids would have left me for dead on the hills. Congratulations to all the kids and the amazing staff that make this event happen every year. I'm so pleased and proud that they could bring it back to life after the difficult years through COVID, and I know the kids appreciate it so much.

Question agreed to.

Federation Chamber adjourned at 13:00