Mr WINGARD ( Mitchell ): I rise today to speak about a very active group in my community, the Marion VIEW Club. I have worked with this group for a few years now and seen first hand the great results they achieve. I asked my very talented trainee, Mallory Petersen, to do some research on this club, and she returned with this comprehensive report after interviewing the current President, Shirley Jenner. I would like to present her report to the house:
Shirley Jenner joined the newly formed Marion VIEW Club in 2003, after being introduced to the organisation by her cousin.
Thirteen years later, Shirley is now the president of Marion VIEW. She oversees 120 members and dozens of smaller sub-committees which cater to members' interests.
First and foremost, though, she is responsible for ensuring the club maintains its sense of camaraderie and joy for life.
'Fun and friendship is our bottom line, and the friendship that comes from something like this is just wonderful,' Shirley said.
However, Shirley went on to say that they had to restrict new memberships earlier this year, after they almost had to leave their current premises at the Marion Hotel due to overcrowding.
Shirley explained, 'We love going to the Marion Hotel, and the room we use there was just full to capacity.
'So we decided that, because we're fun and friendship, when we get too many people there it's very difficult to get to know people.
'We thought there was a definite need for another VIEW club in this area, and so the Oaklands VIEW Club was born.
'It would have to be the most successful club that's been formed in South Australia, it's really taken off. They've already got a membership of about 50 people.
'It's just blossomed, it's absolutely blossomed and everybody is amazed. And they're all local ladies still.'
Shirley believes one of the reasons VIEW Club has taken off in the Southern metro area is it fills a gap that not many clubs are willing to accommodate.
Shirley said, 'The majority of our ladies are now in circumstances where they're not having to work full time anymore; we're all at the age group where we're at the next stage.
We've been there and done that and now we're able to retire, but we still want something to do.
'There aren't many chances for retirees to meet new people and make new friends but they've got to get out there.
'You can't just stop; you need something interesting, something satisfying and invigorating.'
'I think that's where VIEW Clubs are meeting that demand, perhaps it fills that gap.'
VIEW Clubs were originally started in 1960 by George Forbes, the General Secretary of the Smith Family charity organisation.
He saw to start a community group where women could get together and talk, make new friends and educate themselves while also contributing towards the Smith Family charity. As such he named the club VIEW—for the promotion of the Voice, Interests and Education of Women.
Since then VIEW Clubs have gone from strength to strength and now there are more than 300 clubs nationwide, with 16 clubs in South Australia alone.
The VIEW Club still work closely with the Smith Family to this day.
Each VIEW Club is associated with a regional Smith Family branch, and the two work together to target donations to people in need.
With the help of the Smith Family, the Marion VIEW Club sponsor six disadvantaged children through school, as well as donating handmade items to Smith Family branches throughout the Upper Spencer Gulf.
The Marion VIEW Club is also always constantly fundraising towards Smith Family appeals.
Shirley believes charity is a crucial aspect of the club and she said, 'I think that's the most important thing we do; it's just wonderful that there is an organisation like this in Australia.
'It could very well be swept under the carpet and nobody would even look at it but we can't let these things happen.
'Our VIEW Club is aligned with the Port Augusta branch of the Smith Family. They're a very needy area, especially right now, things aren't too good up in the iron triangle.
'We have a lot of different sub-groups, and one of those is our knit and natter girls. Our knit and natter girls do lots and lots of knitting and that gets made into floor rugs, scarves and beanies.
'And these girls pay for all the wool out of their own pockets; they give up a lot of their own time.'
These items are then distributed throughout Whyalla, Port Augusta and Port Pirie by the Smith Family to those that need them.
When the ladies of Marion VIEW Club go about their work without making a fuss, it has not gone unnoticed. The Smith Family SA's general manager, Graham Jaeschke, could not overstate the value of the Marion VIEW Club to the Smith family charity operations. Through their work they are helping make life changing differences to local children and their families.
Some of the club members have joined us here today and I would like to welcome and thank the following people for the great work they do in our community:
Shirley Jenner, Annette Gay, Lorraine Baker, Jill McNicol, Liz Thanisson, Helen O'Flaherty, Heather Watts, Lyn Martin, Kaye Johnson, Liz Ormston, June Chisolm, Jessica Wenzel, Joan Afford, Margaret Forster, Bronwyn McNair, Gail McBain, Vera Cornell, Linda Stein, Shirley Ulmer, Sue Baker, Jan Pexton, Raelene Ilingworth, Michelle Flaherty, Chris Woodward, Jenny Tonkin, Erica Woolman, Mary Storer, Pauline Hodgetts, Cheryl Bartlett, Yvonne Nagle, Barb Johnston, and Jeanette Caire. I thank them for their help in our community.