It has been great to see more local school groups taking up the offer of Parliament House tours, it is a fantastic learning experience - Just recently we had Reynella Primary School come through for a second time. Below is my recent speech in Parliament about some recent events in Reynella and Old Reynella.
Mr WINGARD ( Mitchell ) ( 15:20 ): The winter break from Parliament House is always a great opportunity to spend extra time in the local community and I would like to take this opportunity to highlight some of the great events and wonderful achievements that have unfolded specifically in Reynella and Old Reynella over the past month or so.
Firstly, I would like to congratulate Jessica Marshman and Emmersen Abbott from Old Reynella and Reynella respectively on winning a bronze medal at the SAPSASA under 12 state netball carnival in Perth. They had great community support from the likes of the Reynella Football Club, Reynella East College and Jodi Taylor from THT Services. Both their mums travelled with the girls and, from following their games and the team's progress on Facebook, I could tell they clearly had a brilliant experience on and off the court, and their hard work was rewarded with a bronze medal, as I mentioned. It was a brilliant job, and it was particularly impressive to have two girls from our community representing the state.
It was also a true pleasure to spend some time with Lillian Fernley, who turned 100. She celebrated with a party at the Reynella Neighbourhood Centre. Lillian told me some delightful stories, including one about how she met her late husband. They were both into ballroom dancing and had different partners, but one day Lillian was about to hit the floor and her partner was missing. Her 'husband-to-be' swooped in and introduced himself and offered to dance with her. They went on to win the competition and their love blossomed from that moment. Later, Lillian learnt that her proper dance partner missed the dance with Lillian because he was locked in the men's toilet—and, yes, her husband admitted he was responsible.
At the Reynella Neighbourhood Centre on the fourth Saturday of every month from 10am until 2pm there is the Vines Market. There are many stalls selling jewellery, candles, cupcakes, fudge, coffee and more but, given the wintry weather, I was lucky enough to find Kym, who was there selling a beans mix on a bed of mash. Can I say that the line to his pot was long and the serving in a cup with a spoon hit the spot perfectly. With the weather warming up over the coming months, you may not want to try Kym's beans, but I highly recommend you get along and have a look at all the other offerings for yourself.
I bumped into Kym a few days later when I was invited to attend the Reynella Hobby Electronics Club. They are at the neighbourhood centre every Tuesday from 1pm until 3pm. There are approximately 12 men in this group and it is overflowing. They work away designing and building electronic devices, from lighting systems to alarms and the like. Tony Lee invited me along to meet the group; they are a great bunch and we discussed the idea I have been working on with the Onkaparinga council for a men's shed in the local area. There were some exciting contributions and we will continue to progress the concept with the council.
I also hosted a number of schools and community groups at Parliament House. For the second time, Rick Gilles brought his year 5/6 class in from Reynella Primary School, along with Sue Blight's class as well. We had a group of 60 or so, with some parents included in that. Can I firstly commend the students on how well they behaved. Secondly, I have to add how much I enjoy doing these tours, especially with Rick's group. Rick spends the weeks leading up to the tour teaching the students all about the history and the machinations of parliament. He does such a good job teaching the students that they come thirsty to find out more and more, and they are just brilliant to work with. In fact, I have to confess that every time his class comes here one of the students teaches me something I do not know about this place.
I also did quite a few hours doorknocking in the area and spent time at the local supermarkets, which is always a wonderful opportunity to listen to the local community and gather feedback on issues that are concerning them. I believe this is the true essence of what this job is about. While there was varied feedback on smaller local issues, there was a clear concern in our community about major issues in South Australia. People were genuinely alarmed that our state has a significantly higher unemployment rate than the rest of Australia and this is a key focus that I am committed to working on and fixing.
Doorknocking is thirsty and hungry work. By day a coffee at Café D'licious or the Old Town Café, followed by a chicken roll at The Strand Chicken Shop was usually perfect sustenance, but at the end of the day a beer at the Crown Hotel always soothes sore feet. As a member of the Crown Inn Social Club in Reynella I attended the 10th AGM. The club is as strong as ever and currently has more than 100 members. For the AGM, the Crown chef served up a beautiful roast meal with some of the best pork crackling I have ever tasted. Congratulations to Donald who was re-elected president and Kathy who was again anointed treasurer. The pair have done a brilliant job with the club and to a person the members enjoy a good time.
Still in the area, just up Old South Road, it was an honour to be at Edge Church on the night that they handed out the proceeds of their fundraising efforts in the Ride for Hope. I spoke about the amazing event in detail last year, but the results were equally amazing this year. Led by Pastor Jonathon and Pastor Danny, the Edge community came together on Saturday 9 May to ride, run, walk or drive and raise money for charity. In August, they presented some cheques as a result of their hard work. Edge handed $100,000 to the Childhood Cancer Association and a further $20,000 to the women's prison where they have done a lot of work over a number of years.
There was also a forum in Old Reynella for Alzheimer's SA which I will talk more about in the future, and the Reynella footy and netball teams are also going wonderfully well into September.