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Community Champions

Mr WINGARD (Mitchell) (15:11): I rise today to speak about the community awards that I held in my electorate just recently.

I did this last year and again this year. It is a great opportunity to recognise people who do great work in our local area but who often go unrecognised. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the people who received awards on the night.

I would also like to thank Innes Patritti and the wonderful Patritti family because we held the function at their cellar door. It was a great evening for the Wingard Winter Warmer. We had the support of the Patritti family and their beautiful wines. I will talk more about them later, but a big thank you to them.

The first winner I would like to acknowledge was Mrs Eleanor Isaacs from Woodcroft, who brought along her husband, Dennis. She was nominated by Debra Black. Eleanor has volunteered at Reynella Primary School for at least two days a week for more than 10 years. She is there come rail, hail or shine.

After Eleanor's husband became ill, she moved into a retirement home and she continued to come every Monday and Wednesday. The school community would be lost without her, and she makes muffins for three schools in the community, if you can believe it. To add to that, she is in her 80s, so it was great to see her recognised with one of our community awards.

Mr Nick Bradley from Warradale brought along his friend Josh. Nick has volunteered his time to organise and run a tennis program for vision-impaired children aged five to 12 at Somerton Park Tennis Club. This is a genuinely great program to help these young people.

If you have ever tried to play blind tennis, whether you are visually impaired or not, it is incredibly difficult, and Nick has done a great job. He says that, by the end of the six-week course, all kids could serve and rally for a short time. This is a fantastic result.

This program has enabled the kids to gain confidence in their abilities and in themselves and also allowed them to experience the atmosphere of a sports club and being a sports person, which many of them would not otherwise have experienced. The City of Holdfast Bay awarded the Somerton Park Tennis Club its 2016 Club of the Year Award and cited Nick's vision-impaired tennis program as a major factor in the decision.

Ms Lynette Dansie AM from Marion attended with her husband, Keith. I said that we like to recognise people who perhaps go a little bit unrecognised in the community. When Lyn was nominated for her award, she had gone unrecognised, but that has changed and I will explain why.

Lynette has been volunteering with St John Ambulance for more than 60 years. Lyn currently works in the service's Unley museum and serves in the historical society, of which she is the secretary. Lyn joined St John's with her twin brother, Maurice, in 1957 when they were 11 years old. They took after their father, John Barry.

Lyn met her husband while the two were volunteering with St John's and this year celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Lyn was SA state officer for cadets from 1993 to 1999 and was appointed national Chief Officer (Cadets) of St John Ambulance in Australia in 1993 to 1999.

Lyn was made a member of the order of Australia (AM) in this year's Queen's Birthday honours list. She was recognised duly, as I mentioned, in the Queen's Birthday honours list, but hopefully our community award will sit somewhere alongside that award. In fact, on the night Lyn said she had not received her award yet, so hopefully ours is still taking pride of place on her mantelpiece.

The other winner was a young man in our community, Mr Alex Witty, from Brighton. He performed wonderful music on the night. He was given a surprise award. His mum, Anna, and dad, Brian, were there, along with his sister, and it was great to have them there on the night. Alex is a Brighton Secondary School student studying music studies. He also plays baseball and football, where he has been recognised as a talented athlete and a great club person.

Alex has won the Spirit of ANZAC Award at Brighton Secondary School and the Governing Council Recognition Award. Now, along with three other schoolmates, he has been raising funds to trek Kokoda in September as part of a reconciliation trekkers team. Congratulations to all four winners; they were absolutely outstanding.

I would also like to acknowledge the member for Bright, now the candidate for Black, who was there on the night supporting all our local community because our community does have a lot of crossover. He was a big part of the evening, as was the Hon. David Ridgway from the other house, who was there in full support. I acknowledge all the people who came along from our community to enjoy the evening.

As I said, Patritti Wines do an absolutely marvellous job. I have spoken about them a number of times in this house and the wonderful history they have in Dover Gardens. They are a little winery in Dover Gardens that people do not know a heck of a lot about, but I do highly recommend that you get along and try some of their wonderful wines. 

I would also like to add that in May this year Patritti's 2015 JPB limited release shiraz was awarded a gold medal in the Melbourne International Wine Competition. This was the wine's second gold medal, with the first being awarded at the Decanter World Wine Awards in May, so they are doing wonderful things. I thank again all those who came to our Wingard winter warmer and community awards.

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