Mitcham hills community

Mr DULUK (Davenport) (15:17): I rise today to speak about my wonderful community and electorate.

It has been a busy period for celebration, commemoration and acknowledgement. First, I would like to congratulate the joint recipients of the City of Mitcham Citizen of the Year Award, Mr Rhys Roberts and Ms Rosemary Fisher. Both were recognised at Mitcham council's Australia Day ceremony for their outstanding contribution to our local community.

Rhys is well known to many locals for his tireless work with Lions, the Blackwood Recreation Centre and the Blackwood Memorial Hall. Rosemary has been a dedicated volunteer with Mitcham Meals on Wheels for over 18 years. Their ongoing service and longstanding commitment to help others is very much valued not only by those they help but also by the broader community.

Local residents who also received Australia Day honours include Emeritus Professor John Bowie OAM, Ms Jillian Bartlett OAM, Mr Walter Beale OAM, Ms Jean Evans OAM, Mr Matthew Linn OAM and Mr Trevor Conlon OAM. Trevor, as well as all those other people, epitomises the generous spirit and commitment to others that embodies the Mitcham Hills. The Order of Australia awarded to Trevor was in recognition of 50 years of service to the Coromandel Valley community and to the service of heritage preservation.

Some other fantastic local celebrations have included the Blackwood Meals on Wheels' 25th birthday. Over the years, hundreds of volunteers have delivered tens of thousands of meals, assisting many in the community to continue to live independently in their own home. Of course, this vision is shared by Meals on Wheels all across South Australia.

I would like to acknowledge today the chairman, Cheryl Gray, for her outstanding services to Meals on Wheels, for all that she does and also for the way that she motivates her team. I would also like to acknowledge the founding member and chairman of Blackwood Meals on Wheels, Dr John Jackson, who to this day is still a regular volunteer with the service.

In March, the Probus Club of Eden Hills celebrated their 20th birthday. Probus clubs are truly a vital part of local communities, particularly as more and more baby boomers move into retirement. They provide members with an opportunity to remain active and involved at a time of life when opportunities to make new friends can be limited.

At the Mitcham Hills Combined Probus Club AGM just a couple weeks ago, I had the privilege of helping to honour the service of members Millie Neville and Bill Donaldson. Millie has been a key member of the club since its inception in 1993 and has served on the committee for 20 consecutive years, having been elected in 1997. Bill has been a committee member for a total of 18 years, holding various positions, and was membership officer for more than a decade. It really was a pleasure to share this occasion with both Millie and Bill and to be present at their celebration. They are both true treasures who are held in very high esteem by their friends and our community. I thank them for their service and wish them the best in their so-called retirement.

Recently, I also had the pleasure of attending the Blackwood Football Club for the opening of their new coach's box, and that was together with the federal member for Boothby because the funding for the box was part of federal government grant funding. Blackwood Football Club is a fantastic team in my electorate. This year, they are entering three junior girls teams in the football competition, and they provide an opportunity for hundreds of juniors to participate in local sports. I wish the Blackwood Football Club all the best for 2017.

This year is a year of commemoration of the 75th anniversaries of so many important battles of World War II. Earlier in the year, at the South Australian Women's Memorial Playing Fields on Shepherds Hill Road, I attended the 75th anniversary of the 1942 Bangka Strait massacre and I also attended the 75th annual commemoration of the first bombing of Darwin on 19 February 1942, which was recognised at a special event at the Repat—the spiritual home of our veterans. As I said in a contribution earlier in the week, it is such a shame that this facility is being closed.

I would also like to recognise Mr Barry Presgrave OAM of Eden Hills. Barry has been a driving force behind the National Servicemen's Association memorial dedication to the 287,000 young Australian men who were conscripted in the armed forces. It was a privilege to attend that dedication service. I know that the member for Ashford was there as well. Congratulations to Barry for all that he has done to recognise Nashos and their sacrifice for this nation. As we are on the eve of ANZAC Day, I would encourage every one of my constituents to attend a local ANZAC Day service. There are quite a few in my community and, as we go into that ANZAC Day period, we should always remember the sacrifice that South Australians and Australians made for all of us.