Speech: July Grievance Debate

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD (Gibson—Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services, Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing) (15:15): It is with great pleasure I rise today to speak about some recent activities in my electorate. June has been a wonderful month. It has been great to be back out again as some of the restrictions have eased. That is very much to the credit of the people of South Australia, who have done an outstanding job. Of course, the officials from SA Health and the police commissioner have done a wonderful job in giving the directions as they have. I think the Premier and all the team have done an outstanding job to make sure we are doing everything we can to keep South Australians as safe as possible.

As these restrictions ease, it is great to be back out in the local community. On Friday last week, I was standing in a cosy room with the residents of the Sturt Palms retirement community in Brighton. We were gathered there to celebrate the very special occasion of the birthday of Sturt Palms' oldest resident, Geoffrey Edmonds, who was turning 100 years old. Sturt Palms has a lovely, warm atmosphere. The retirees who gathered for Geoffrey's morning tea ranged in age, each with their own fascinating story, like Evelyn Kellow, aged 96, who made bullets in the war. It was wonderful to hear her reminisce about that.

Born in 1920, Geoffrey has lived all over the world, growing up in Warwickshire in the UK and working for the Air Force in New Zealand before calling Adelaide home. As I sat down next to him, I asked, 'What's the secret to living a long and happy life?' With a twinkle in his eye, Geoffrey smiled at me and he said, 'The true secret is good music.' Good music—that was his response. I take that advice on board.

Good music is something that Geoffrey knows well. He was an exceptional musician who loved to play the Spanish guitar. He told me that he once played for Nana Mouskouri, which I think is quite a remarkable achievement. It was proper and fitting, therefore, that his birthday cake featured a beautiful guitar on the front. He was suitably impressed. A massive thankyou to Melissa Bowley, the Sturt Palms manager, who organised the birthday party, and all the staff who put on a delicious morning tea to contribute to the positive atmosphere.

We know that small businesses and local residents have been doing it tough over the last few months with the COVID-19 pandemic we have all been facing. Habits as normal as meeting friends for coffee have changed amid the COVID global pandemic. Gathering restrictions mean that many normal community events do not go ahead. As we move further along the road map to recovery and as life begins to resemble what we knew before, I am very keen to hear what local residents have to say and also to support businesses in the local community.

With that in mind, it was a great pleasure to hold one of my coffee catch-ups, labelled Coffee with Corey. These catch-ups are held in local cafes and give residents the opportunity to chat with me or their neighbours about whatever local issues are on their mind. Last week, I met a group of local residents in the Next Chapter Gourmet Cafe, a fantastic cafe owned by Mervin Joshua and located inside the Marion Cultural Centre. I met residents such as Alison Budimir, who expressed concerns about local housing density, and Al-Naimi Wesam, who asked for some help with his wife's visa and some Housing SA repairs as well.

It was also great to meet some of the cafe staff, including Ryan Brown, who is keen to help the community wherever he can and volunteers at St Vincent de Paul's crisis centre as a support worker for both adults and youth. It was great just to have a chat with him and hear about the wonderful work he is doing. As we deal with the impact of the last few months, our fellowship and local support matter more and more as we reach out into our community. I am hoping that these coffee catch-ups will keep people connected. It is great to be back again face to face. A lot of the work has been online and through letters and emails over the past couple of months, so it is great to be back and supporting local businesses as well.

The Queen's 94th birthday was celebrated in June. With the milestone came the announcement of many great achievements throughout the commonwealth, including in my electorate. It was a great delight, although not a surprise, for me to read in the Queen's Birthday 2020 Honours List that Robert Korotcoff from Dover Gardens had been awarded an OAM for his service to the community. I have had the pleasure of meeting Bob a number of times. His ties to the Lions club span over half a century. Bob joined Lions club in Cairns in 1961 before moving to Adelaide in 1974. He then joined the Brighton Lions before becoming a member of the Marion club in 2003.

He works tirelessly for the greater community and has served in a number of leadership positions. He has been a true champion for Lions and the values that they bring to our community and what the organisation delivers for everyone. I want to take this moment to acknowledge him and the wonderful work he has done in his community. That award is justly deserved.

Authorised by Corey Wingard MP, Member for Gibson. Level 2, 1 Milham Street Oaklands Park SA 5046. ©Copyright / Legal / Login