Bill: Appropriation Bill 2017 (Local Service Clubs)


Mr GARDNER ( Morialta ) ( 20:32 ): As have many members at this time of year, I have been greatly appreciative of the opportunity to join with a number of local service clubs in my electorate in recent weeks as they have had their changeover and handover dinners, celebrating years of successful hard work for their communities where volunteers have made an extraordinary impact in the community, and looking forward to the year ahead. 

Particularly at this time of the year, the Rotary clubs and Lions clubs have their changeover and handover dinners and lunches and brunches respectively. The Kiwanis are still to come and, of course, we look forward to those as well. In the electorate of Morialta, the contribution made by service clubs is profound, and I am grateful to all the service clubs in the electorate of Morialta. This year, I have also particularly appreciated the opportunity to get to know some of the new service clubs, in the new areas of Morialta, which previously had been in neighbouring districts. 

The stories they tell have been fascinating to hear. Every service club is different. They have some of the same forms that cross over from one to the other, but they all have their own unique culture and they have terrific camaraderie and fellowship but, importantly, they make an enormous difference in our community. 

Lions, Rotarians and Kiwanians and other service clubs do the jobs that so many other people do not necessarily want to do themselves. Volunteers in both service organisations that I have been visiting in recent weeks—Lions and Rotary—join together with over one million volunteers in each organisation around the world. 

Their achievements have been profound, particularly those of Lions in the area of eye health and the development of widely available canes for blind people, international eye banks and vaccinations against river blindness fever. Lions around the world have accomplished a wide range of achievements over what is now, as of this year, a 100-year history since they were founded by Melvin Jones. They celebrate that 100 years in style at their handover lunches, brunches and dinners this year. 

Rotarians, in the last 32 years in particular, have been particularly associated with the fight to end polio in conjunction with partners from governments and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In the mid-1980s, one Rotarian in Australia came up with the idea that a group of people of like mind, will, purpose and goodwill could band together to end a vicious disease that at the time was consuming hundreds of thousands of people around the world and destroying their lives. To date, it was reported at the last Rotary meeting that I think just six cases of polio have been uncovered in the whole world this year. 

It is an extraordinary achievement, and it would not have happened without a whole world of partners and other people contributing towards it. I do not think that we would be anywhere near this situation without the contributions of more than a million Rotarians around the world who each constantly put in their money at their dinners. Many of them put in their efforts. Many of them spend time helping in other countries by volunteering their efforts, and that is an extraordinary achievement. 

I was not able to get to all the events, unfortunately. There were a couple I missed and there are a couple where I am still looking forward to the opportunity to get to know the members in the years ahead. I want to particularly acknowledge the outgoing and incoming presidents at the service clubs in the Morialta district whom I have so far been able to make contact with or whom, on a number of occasions, I have been in touch with for many years. Beginning with the Rotarians, I congratulate the Rotary Club of Morialta on a tremendous changeover dinner at the Naval, Military and Air Force Club, where outgoing president, Brenton Summers, was replaced by the new president, Judi Brown. We are certainly grateful for all their support for the community. 

The Magill Sunrise Rotary Club had a tremendous changeover brunch at the Wholly Belly cafe on Magill Road. Outgoing president, filmmaker Kirsty Stark, celebrated a terrific year. I am sure that the new president, Ian Coat, will do a wonderful job. The Rotary Club of Campbelltown is a club that I was an active member of for a number of years. I am very privileged that I maintain an honorary membership through the generosity of the Rotary Club of Campbelltown. It is the largest club in the district, and without the efforts of the Rotary Club of Campbelltown, I think the Campbelltown community would be very different. 

President Bryan Schell did a terrific job over the last 12 months, and I am sure that the new president, Elizabeth Gagliardi, will equally uphold the extremely high standards that that club has always expected of its presidents. I know it will be an interesting year. I was not able to go to the changeover dinner for the Rotary Club of Tea Tree Gully this year, but I am looking forward to getting along next year. I appreciated the opportunity to go to a dinner that they hosted a couple of months ago, where the Governor was able to speak about the important role that multiculturalism is going to have in helping service clubs grow in the years ahead. 

Of course, the Governor was able to identify his migrant story and the story that is shared by so many migrants and refugees, people who come to Australia for whatever reason. One thing they often have in common is a desire to show their support and gratitude to their new communities. I think he compellingly put the case for service clubs to reach out to those communities, where they are going to find many new members who will serve them well, I am sure. Presiding over that dinner was the previous president of the Rotary Club of Tea Tree Gully, Ray Whalley, and we congratulate the new president, Ynyr Hughes. I am sure that she will do a terrific job as well. 

In relation to Lions, I particularly want to pay tribute to past district governor, Paddy McKay. Paddy, of the Lions Club of Athelstone in my electorate, finished up her role as district governor of Lions about four hours ago. Having just spoken to her, I can tell you that she is enjoying her retirement from the role and is already missing it a little bit. Paddy has done a tremendous job and has grown the Lions membership in the last year and has had new clubs start. In the 100th year of Lions, it is tremendous to see the reinvigoration of Lions International in South Australia. 

The Athelstone Lions' old president, Mike Cook, at Cafe Va Bene handed over to the new president, Lloyd Nelson; it was a terrific night. I was not able to get to the Rostrevor Lions' handover, where Cameron Wyers continues his role as president. He has done that job several times in the past. He is a remarkable contributor to the community and the club, and they are grateful for that support. I am looking forward to getting along to the Black Hill Challenge, a running race they hold later in the year to raise money for The Royal Flying Doctor Service. I am pleased to sponsor the trophies. 

The Onkaparinga Lions Club met at Lobethal. Although I was not able to be there, the member for Kavel was able to attend his last event as their local member. Their previous president, Brenton Heinrich, was replaced by John Wenham. I know that they will do a terrific job. Malcolm Storry of the East Torrens Lions Club has been replaced by Daryl Golding. Both Malcolm and Daryl have done the job on a number of occasions. The club continues to power on and, despite lower numbers than they have had in the past, their contribution is still substantial. 

The Torrens Valley Lions Club president, Dave Richards, handed over to the club's first female president at its handover this year. In the 100th year of Lions, the new president of the Torrens Valley Lions Club is Pauline North. She has a lot of energy, and she will work very hard and do a terrific job. A lot of people came to see Pauline take up the reins at the handover at the Birdwood Lutheran Church Hall. I think that club will do very well this year and continue to make a tremendous contribution to the Torrens Valley communities. 

Tea Tree Gully Lions Club past president, Jack Rogers, has been replaced by Maurice Stone. Now that the Morialta electorate is heading far north of the river, I am looking forward to also spending a lot more time with that club. To finish, I particularly pay tribute to the newest Lions Club in the Morialta electorate, which is the Lions Against Violence group, a special-purpose Lions club set up to do work to support the prevention of violence against women. Councillor Jill Whittaker of the Campbelltown council is its inaugural president. The club had its first meeting, and I am looking forward to getting along to future meetings and seeing the tremendous work they will do in the future. 

As the member for Morialta, I am sure I am joined by all members in this house when I say that it has been an honour to work with these fine volunteers in our community. I look forward to doing so in the future, and I am sure they will have a terrific year. I thank the past presidents for their service to their clubs and to the community.