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St George Community Awards 2021

Hansard ID: HANSARD-1323879322-122579

Hansard session: Fifty-Seventh Parliament, First Session (57-1)

St George Community Awards 2021

Mr MARK COURE (OatleyMinister for Multiculturalism, and Minister for Seniors) (18:34:38):

— I inform the House of the fantastic success of my eleventh annual St George Community Awards for 2021. Late last year I sought nominations from the local community for the annual St George Community Awards. My office was absolutely blown away with the number of submissions. It was fantastic to see so many people recognised for their contributions to our local area. My office received over 100 quality submissions from local community organisations, residents and small businesses highlighting the strong community spirit across the St George area. The award categories included individual volunteer achievement, youth achievement, community group achievement, business achievement, senior volunteer achievement, sporting achievement and environmental achievement.

The Individual Volunteer Achievement Award recognises a member of the community who has devoted significant time, effort and resources by serving in a volunteer capacity. Whether it is volunteering at a local sport club on the weekend, delivering meals to the vulnerable through Meals on Wheels or helping to organise a community fundraising event, the winners of the individual volunteer award have all demonstrated a keen desire to help those around them and make their community a better place. Last year, 36 people were awarded an Individual Volunteer Achievement Award across a number of organisations, including the Lions Club of Oatley and Lugarno, Lugarno Public School P&C, St George Community Transport and, my favourite, the Resourceful Australian Indian Network.

It was heartening to see a number of young people recognised in the 2021 awards. Last year eight people were awarded a Youth Achievement Award. I make special mention of the Australian Air League Riverwood Squadron, which had four of its members recognised last year. As many in the House know, community organisations are often the backbone of local volunteering efforts. Many groups organise local events and charity drives and fundraise for important issues affecting many in our community. The Community Group Achievement Award recognises that selfless work and acknowledges organisations that have significantly contributed to the St George area, especially during the difficulties of the pandemic. Last year 16 local community groups were recognised for their efforts throughout 2021. One such group was 2Connect Youth & Community which does important work to empower young people to create change for a positive future, aiming to achieve social justice and improve the wellbeing of the community. Last year I also had the pleasure of listening to an impromptu performance by the St George Junior Brass Band outside my electorate office when I presented them with their award.

As a great supporter of small businesses across the St George area, the Business Achievement Award is one of my favourite awards to present. The past two years have been especially tough on our local businesses as the pandemic has created challenge after challenge they have had to overcome. However, I am so happy to see the return of customers to restaurants, cafes and shops across the St George area. I am hopeful to see a boom in business for those retailers, and I personally will try to visit as many businesses as I can to show and offer my support. A total of five fantastic small businesses were recognised in the 2021 St George Community Awards. I congratulate Bridge St Kids Early Learning Centre, Kogarah Indian Bazaar, Lucky Family Consulting, RB Hair and Beauty Lounge and Budget Salon Supplies for winning last year's awards. As the Minister for Seniors, I take a keen interest in the efforts of many of our local senior volunteers who regularly contribute so much to the local area. Our local seniors are especially active in the community, running events such as the Oatley Lions Village Festival which is always a big hit. It was my pleasure to present 19 members of our local community with a Senior Volunteer Achievement Award acknowledging their invaluable service to the local area.

The 2021 St George Community Awards also saw a number of sporting organisations and individuals awarded for their contributions to our local sporting culture. Groups like St George Little Athletics, the AHEPA Hunters, Fishers and Shooters Club, and St George Basketball Association spend countless hours volunteering to ensure that community sport can operate smoothly and efficiently. The final category celebrated was the Environmental Achievement Award, which had three winners. I acknowledge each and every one of them. The eleventh annual St George Community Awards were a resounding success and I congratulate all of the winners. I look forward to holding the competition again this year to celebrate all of the wonderful people in the St George community.