Senate debates

Tuesday, 2 September 2014


Dupagne, Ms Tanya, Lefroy, Mr Timothy

6:51 pm

Photo of Dean SmithDean Smith (WA, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I would like to use this evening's adjournment debate to reflect positively on two fantastic young Western Australians who are living and working out in regional Western Australia.

The first is Mr Tim Lefroy, who this year, 2014, was the winner of the West Australian of the Year Award. This accolade is a powerful demonstration and endorsement of Tim's excellent hard work and efforts, and recognises his contribution to the community through his varied roles—most particularly, through his active sporting roles as a coach and West Australian Football League umpire and athlete.

It was interesting to read about Tim's story and his career goal to become a leader in the development of public policy, with a special interest in policies affecting agriculture and education in Western Australia. When Tim responded to my letter of congratulations he said, 'Senator, I have enjoyed my involvement in the community immensely over the past few years, and it has made me appreciate how lucky we are in Western Australia to have such strong and diverse communities.' I certainly agree with those sentiments.

In addition to that, he said to me: 'Growing up on a farm in Moora has given me a desire to fulfil a career developing agricultural economic policy. I believe sustained economic growth will see an elevation of agriculture to a position of strategic importance over the next decade to address the increasing challenges of providing a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food to the world. I see a career developing agricultural policy as an opportunity to address these global food security and social concerns.' I cannot help but think that Mr Timothy Lefroy is a name that we might start to hear more of across Western Australia and, in the future, I would not be surprised if we heard more in this place about his contribution to community and agricultural life.

I would also like to congratulate and recognise Tanya Dupagne, who is the Shire of Kulin's Camp Kulin manager. This year Tanya was awarded the 2014 Constable Care Child Safety Award. I am pleased to advise that Tanya also won both the local government and employee award categories. As a sign of Tanya's graciousness, when she won the award she said, 'I am so incredibly honoured to receive this award, but I am really accepting it on behalf of all of our team, which includes 64 volunteers, shire staff and the community.' Camp Kulin's innovative program—which I am very familiar with, having met Tanya a few years ago—has supported over 500 kids from across rural and regional Western Australia, and some young people from the cities. The camp's internationally recognised program, which was initiated by Tanya Dupagne, empowers and protects WA's most vulnerable by teaching trust, respect and confidence, with the ultimate goal of breaking the generational domestic violence cycle. It also runs programs and camps which are open to any child seeking to develop essential life skills and leadership skills. I congratulate Tanya Dupagne on the work she does.

She wrote to me just recently and shared this with me. She said: 'It has been a big couple of months, Senator, for us, winning three categories of the Constable Care Child Safety Awards, including the overall award, and being shortlisted for the Premier's Awards for Excellence in Public Sector Management. A number of our camp counsellors have also won scholarships and awards and have represented Camp Kulin at state and national conferences. We are looking forward to the coming months with the further development of our school programs, corporate programs and, of course, our summer camp programs. We are also currently fundraising to build a Camp Kulin low ropes course, which will further enhance the skills learnt by our campers while at camp. Thank you again for your support of the Camp Kulin program and, if you are ever near Kulin'—which I regularly am—'we would love to have you come and visit us.'

I think these two examples are very powerful demonstrations of the great work young people are doing and the great contributions they are making not only in our country but particularly in regional communities across Western Australia. I want to use my brief opportunity tonight to recognise the fantastic contribution of both Mr Timothy Lefroy and Ms Tanya Dupagne.