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Tribute to Berowra Rotary Club

15 February 2018

Mr MATT KEAN (Hornsby—Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation) (17:43): Today I acknowledge one of the most dedicated community groups in Hornsby, the Rotary Club of Berowra. For 41 years, the club has been serving our community with distinction. Its members selflessly give their time to help those less fortunate and give young people a chance to thrive and to achieve great things. They also help to make Hornsby the wonderful place we love. Berowra Rotarians are truly dedicated individuals. Most of the Rotary Club of Berowra members have been involved in the club for the past 20 years—some even longer. However, this small group of volunteers has been able to make a huge difference.

Most notably, they hold a plant stall in the lead-up to Mother's Day and Father's Day each year. The stall raises a whopping $6,000 every year. They do not do it without a little community assistance though. The Berowra Rovers pitch in and help with the heavy lifting every year. It takes pretty bad weather to stop the Berowra Rotary team. The stall has been cancelled only twice in the past 20 years. Every cent of the money raised at this year's event goes back to the Hornsby community. I thank all those volunteers for their amazing work. I acknowledge their support of young people. Over the years they have supported a number of different programs which focus on the development of the youth of the Hornsby shire. This includes an inbound and outbound Rotary Youth Exchange. This program allows students to live abroad for up to 12 months. They also sponsor students to come to Sydney to experience the Australian way of life.

They have sponsored the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards for those aged 18 to 26. The winners of these awards have the opportunity to attend a one-week training seminar to help them develop their leadership skills. Those skills can then be used in the workplace or given back to the community, as the Rotarian values suggest. They sponsor individual citizenship prizes at a number of local schools in the area—something that I do. It is a chance to acknowledge these special students at end-of-year celebrations. The 2017 award recipients were Lucy Elder at Asquith Public School; Neve Rapsey and Sam Young at Berowra Public School; Samara Barrett at Brooklyn Public School; Daisy Lewis and Harvey Dickerson at Cowan Public School; Grace Penning at Mount Colah Public School; Darcy Streek-Warren at Mount Kuring-gai Public School; and Abby Wiswell and Arianna Brown at Wideview Public School.

As well as working with young people, the Rotary Club of Berowra has for many years supported the BowelCare campaign. This raises awareness of the need for early detection of bowel cancer. Berowra Rotarians also get up bright and early for Daffodil Day every year and stand on Berowra station to raise money for cancer research. In the past they have also acknowledged local employees who are going the extra mile in their workplace through the Pride of Workmanship Awards, which is a chance to say "a job well done" to those who work hard in our community. We also see the Rotarians at community events such as the Berowra Woodchopping Festival. It is hard to keep a good Rotarian away from lending a hand at a local event.

It is astounding that all of this is done by just a small group of members. After successfully leading the club for three years the great Tom Borg recently stepped down as president. Rich Moore and Trevor Bailey will share the role in the future. Rich Moore presently serves as foundation director, while Trevor Bailey has been involved with this club for some 30 years. He is a true community hero. In July, Peggy Sanders will be stepping up from her role as public relations and bulletin editor to take on the role of president. I must not forget the amazing Jeanette Bakker and Jan Childs. Jeanette has been looking after the books while Jan is an event organiser extraordinaire. Last year Jan did an amazing job organising the fortieth birthday celebrations, which I was pleased to attend. It was great to see two founding members, Albert Van Huissteden and John McKenna, in attendance.

Recently the members of the club were saddened by the passing of committee member Allan Smith. Allan was an integral member of Berowra Rotary for many years. I offer sincere condolences to the Smith family and in particular to Allan's wife, Pat. I am pleased to hear that the club will soon be inducting Allan's wife, Pat, into the Rotary Club of Berowra family. The club recently heard from former member Professor Bill Gibson, a world expert in cochlear implant surgery. His work has changed the lives of so many and they are proud to count him as a former member. Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons also serves as an honorary member.

It is volunteers such as these who make the fabric of our community so rich. They have not just been working on the committee for one or two years; they have been working for five or 10 years, or more than 20 years. Their dedication is without question, and I thank them for their amazing service. I encourage any local residents who may be considering volunteer work to attend one of the Rotary Club of Berowra meetings. They will be giving back to the community and helping to make Hornsby shire a better place. I thank all members, both past and present, for their hard work, dedication and sacrifice. They are what makes our community so special.

Mr MARK COURE (Oatley) (17:48): I thank the member for Hornsby for his wonderful story about the Rotary Club of Berowra. On behalf of this House I thank all the members of that club for 41 years of service to the local community. I thank them for their efforts in making a real difference—by raising much-needed funding, for their service to the community and for supporting young people through the Rotary Youth Exchange. They are members of only one of 34,000 clubs worldwide which totals more than 1.2 million members. The Rotarian motto is "Service above self". The first Rotary Club was formed in 1905 by Paul Harris in Chicago, the United States of America. I thank the Rotary Club of Berowra and the good member for Hornsby.