Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 1 Hansard (14 February) . . Page.. 119..
Ricky Stuart Foundation
St Vincent de Paul Society—doorknock appeal
MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (5.51): Last night I had the great honour of attending the Ricky Stuart Foundation dinner at the Hotel Realm. And for those who do not know, the Ricky Stuart Foundation has been newly set up to raise money for kids with autism, particularly for supporting the parents and families of kids with autism. It is a wonderful cause. It is an area where I think there is a real gap in support. I want to take some time to commend Ricky Stuart for the work that he has done in setting up the foundation.
I think Ricky Stuart is a great Canberran, even though he does not live in Canberra anymore. He is one of our proudest products. He played for both the Wallabies and the Kangaroos and, of course, the Canberra Raiders, the New South Wales origin team, the Canterbury Bulldogs and, indeed, is now the New South Wales origin coach. He has had a distinguished career in Rugby League in particular, but I would like to commend him for the good work that he has done in setting up the foundation, the thoroughly decent human being he is. It has taken great courage, I think, to tell his story about his daughter with severe autism, and I commend him for it.
I would like to also pay tribute to a lot of the sponsors and celebrity guests who backed the Ricky Stuart Foundation dinner last night. They include PwC, who underwrote it, the Fordham company, Sony Music, Realm, Virgin Australia, Zoo, Urban Pantry, ActewAGL, Audi, Elite Sound & Lighting, Coca Cola, McGuigan Wines, Amalgamated Property Group, Colliers, Titleist, Veuve Cliquot, Kitchen Witchery Catering, VB, contentgroup, MilLan, Actew Corporation, Dataflex, the Canberra Raiders, Independent Property Group, Maxim Chartered Accountants, the ElvinGroup, Harvey Norman, Formula Interiors, Eastview, Construction Control, and Raine and Horne. So thank you to those sponsors, some of whom are local and some of whom are national.
Also there were a number of celebrities who helped make the night a great success. Some of those, of course, are locals, and we had a number of national celebrities. We had one of our favourite sons in Mal Meninga. We had George Gregan, of course, from Canberra, returning for it. There were a number of other sporting celebrities such as Allan Border, Brad Fittler, Mark Gasnier, Simon Woolford, Peter O'Malley, Stuart MacGill, Adam MacDougall and a range of others, including Glenn Lazarus, of course, an old Canberran as well. There were too many to mention. Deborah Hutton was there as well. They all helped to make it a fantastic evening.
The aim was to raise several hundred thousand dollars and I think that was probably achieved, by the look of the auction. So well done to all those who got behind it. Well done to Ricky Stuart who did such a sensational job and has done such a sensational job in setting up what is a very important foundation.
I also recently had the honour of launching the St Vincent de Paul Society's month-long doorknock appeal campaign. It was an excellent event, and I would like to take