Speech to Parliament
November 21, 2014
Mr WINGARD ( Mitchell ) ( 15:10 ): It is with great pleasure that I rise today to speak about the Reynella Kiwanis, a group formed in 1973.
Sadly these days they are down to 13 members but they still manage to do a mountain of work. Like so many volunteer organisations, they are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit new members and, as they mature in years, a few have succumbed to age and health issues.
Despite these obstacles, the group has remained very upbeat and focused on delivering projects that they excel at. I would like to mention their major annual project, the Kiwanis Kids Fun Day, which has been run every year since 2007 with the exception of 2013. Having attended this year's event, I am not sure who enjoys it more, the kids or the Kiwanis volunteers.
The fun day was just that, and this year 300 kids were lucky enough to experience this heartwarming gesture. It was held at the movie cinema complex in Noarlunga with the movie Rio 2the feature of the day. The children and their families or carers come along, they have a barbecue, there is face painting, the movie of course, and show bags packed by the Kiwanis volunteers full of donated goods which they take them home at the end of the day.
I would like to share a story with you about one mother who was doing it tough and her four children. She called up at the last minute with car troubles and said that she could not make it, and the task of transporting her family to the cinema was far too great given that she did not have access to a vehicle. It was amazing to see the volunteers rally and, in an instant, they jumped in their cars, headed down and they would not let this family miss out. They headed straight to pick them up and made sure they enjoyed the festivities of the day. Seeing the family as they arrived, you could tell how appreciative they were.
The team includes Ray Wakeling, Brian and Lorraine Jolliffe, Trevor Lehmann, John Coates, Bill Thompson, John Adams and all their families and their extended families. They do a marvellous job of recruiting volunteers to help out with their endeavours. It must also be noted that the Governor of Kiwanis nationally is so impressed with this Kids Fun Day that he has been over from Victoria three times. The Reynella team is very proud of the fact that they show the Victorians and the whole of Australia how to get these things done.
I would like to acknowledge and thank them for all the work they have done over the years. Their projects do not end there and I would like to take this opportunity to list some of the other outstanding projects that the Reynella Kiwanis have been part of: South Coast Aktion Club, Noarlunga Downs Primary School breakfast program, ANZAC Youth Vigil catering, Smith Family Youth Support, just to name a few. They have also done a great job supporting Riding for the Disabled which has a key centre in the heart of my electorate.
With Christmas approaching, this group is now focusing on collecting toys for children who look like missing out on getting gifts during the festive season. The Kiwanis partner with another group of unsung heroes, Toymendous. The members of this group come from a number of metropolitan areas and use workshop facilities at St Paul's Gilles Plains on two or three Saturdays each month. The toys are then given to the Reynella Kiwanis and they go about distributing them. I wish them all the best for the busy time and season ahead.
So with the Reynella Kiwanis added to the other community groups that I have mentioned, it is an opportune time to talk about a small need for this community. As you would have noted, these community groups give great vibrancy to the area and they are a great part of the Mitchell electorate. They are people who work very hard to be self-sufficient. The countless volunteer hours and volunteers who get involved and who fight well and truly above their weight and give so much to their community all need to be commended. It is a pleasure to help and support these groups and to work with them to make the community a better place.
At the last election we promised to help bituminise the perimeter of the oval around the Reynella sports and social club to stop cars blowing up dust in summer and prevent boggy mud in winter for those who use it all year round. While this Weatherill Labor government has turned its back on this project I am continuing to work with the local council in an effort to make it happen. The Mayor of Onkaparinga Council and the CEO have been receptive, and they understand the benefit and the contribution that this sports and community group make to the local area.
I call on the government to come to the party and realise how important it is. Just recently they upgraded the wet facility after we helped create a grant for them a few months ago to get this area up and running. It is a key part of what makes this club tick, and I commend them for all the good work they have done to make this upgrade happen at their club. The bitumen has been an ongoing issue around the outside of the oval, and it is an issue that has been ignored for too long. I will continue to push and find ways to get this and other much-needed projects done in Reynella and across my electorate of Mitchell.