Local

Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (13:43): Last Tuesday, I was pleased to attend the leadership assembly at Lilydale West Primary School in the heart of the Casey electorate to present leadership certificates and badges to a number of school leaders. I want to make mention of the school captains: Brodie Gray and Ava White; the vice captains, Brayden Cox and Caitlyn Serong; and the house captains, Corey Meade, Tamieka Anderson, Riley Gordon, Victoria Carrabbia, Molly Ellen, Charlea Miller-Mullett, Corey Gray and Tayla Mitchell. I also make mention of the other school leaders that received certificates and badges for a range of responsibilities. I want to pay tribute to the school community; to the teachers, led by the principal, Wendy Bartsch; the parents; and the school leaders for 2015, who will ensure that Lilydale West continues to be the great school that it is.
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (16:00): Last Friday morning I had the pleasure of vising Animal Aid in Coldstream in the electorate of Casey. Animal Aid, which has existed for many years, houses dogs and cats and also offers a boarding kennel and a full veterinary practice service. Founded in 1948 by Alexander and Stella Grierson in Croydon, it shifted to Coldstream back in the year 2000 and has done a wonderful service for the community in all of its time. It raises about $500,000 a year so that it can look after lost dogs and cats and provide them new homes. It does so with the active support of a number of donors and many volunteers over the decades. On Friday, I was pleased to be able to unveil boards of the donors and of the volunteers who have given so much in recognition. I was pleased to see the…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (19:35): I rise this evening to recognise someone who gave so much to this House—not a former member, but a former servant of this House and all that it stands for nonetheless. Pauline Osmond recently passed away. She worked for five federal Liberal members from Victoria. She joined our party in 1975. She masterminded Bob Halverson's 1984 election campaign, and worked for him as the member for Casey, first down in the old House and then here, for the entirety of his career as a backbencher, as a whip, as Speaker, and then again as a backbencher. Pauline then worked for Speakers Andrew and Hawker before retiring for health reasons. But for the last couple of years, she returned to work part-time in my office. I first met her here in Canberra as a young staff member. She was the friendly staff member in the whip's…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (16:10): Yesterday the Casey Electorate paid tribute to a local Anzac, JD Burns, who had grown up the Lilydale electorate. He joined up in February 1915, arrived in Gallipoli in September 1915 and was tragically killed a few weeks later. His father was the local Presbyterian minister. He had attended Scotch College and excelled. He wrote a poem about the cause of the First World War and what it entailed, calledFor England, that became world-renowned. His death at the time was a huge blow to the local Lilydale community. With the assistance of a Centenary of Anzac grant, a plaque was unveiled at the Lilydale cenotaph yesterday afternoon. On behalf of the local Centenary of Anzac committee that I have worked so closely with, I pay tribute to them and to the local historical groups who helped bring this about.
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (13:41): Last Sunday was a very special day for the Italian community in my electorate of Casey. The Yarra Valley Italian Cultural Group organised an event to both commemorate and celebrate some history. They met with large numbers from the community at the Lilydale cemetery, where they had a service and unveiled plaques for four Italians who had come to the Yarra Valley many decades ago and tragically died working in the Yarra Valley. They included workers who had worked on the Silvan Dam in the 1920s. In doing so, they also wanted to celebrate the contribution of the Italian community to the Yarra Valley over all the decades. It is well known that many Italians came to the Yarra Valley, as they did to other parts of Australia, in the postwar years. They wanted to tell that story, but also the story that is not…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (13:31): On Saturday I had the pleasure of meeting with a large number of Coldstream residents in my electorate of Casey at the Margaret Lewis Reserve, where there was the opening of a gazebo in the centre of the reserve that had been funded by the local council. When Margaret Lewis died back in 1981, she bequeathed 15 hectares of bushland to the people of Coldstream. It is now a reserve maintained by the Friends of Margaret Lewis Reserve, who have been caring for and nurturing that community asset in Coldstream for the best part of 30 years. In the past they have had small equipment grants from this side of the House and, as I mentioned, a grant from the council, but mostly they have done it themselves. They are a dedicated group of volunteers, led by the irrepressible Morris Maxwell. They have constructed walking…
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