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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 4 Hansard (26 March) . .

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Poche centre is to provide professional development opportunities and scholarships for Aboriginal people. They also aim to encourage young Aboriginal people into the profession and create a pathway for more Indigenous dentists in the future.

Cricket ACT

MR DOSZPOT (Molonglo) (4.54): Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Cricket ACT DB Robin Medal and grade awards night. There were a series of presentations made which I will refer to in a few minutes, but I would like to start with a couple of recognitions made by Cricket ACT.

The first was the 50-year recognition award to Kevin Flaherty. Kevin was recognised for his 50 years of outstanding service to cricket in the ACT. A former grade player and ACT representative, he went on to serve for many seasons on club committees, followed by stints on the Cricket ACT board and as chairman of the Cricket ACT high performance department. Only last year he was still giving up his time as chairman of the local organising committee for the Australian country cricket championships. He has given his time to many other areas of the game since he made his home in Australia. The thank you award to Kevin Flaherty was signed by the Chairman of Cricket Australia, Wally Edwards.

The second recognition on the night was of Mark Vergano, who is stepping down from his role as CEO of Cricket ACT after 14 years of service. From speeches on the night by former chair John Turner and a colleague of Mark's, Andrew Dawson, we learned that Mark started at Cricket ACT in 2001 in the role of operations manager, moving his family from Melbourne, where he worked in finance and was the president of the Richmond Cricket Club.

He was then elevated to the role of CEO in 2002 and worked tirelessly to help Cricket ACT to recover from the shock omission of the ACT Comets from the then Mercantile Mutual Cup and from financial hardships as an organisation. When Mark took over as CEO he had six staff members. Today there are over 15 staff, covering not only the ACT but southern New South Wales via the recent signing of a new MOU with Cricket Australia and Cricket New South Wales.

During his time at the helm of Cricket ACT, Mark was instrumental in improving facilities, including the Manuka oval cricket net redevelopment, new lighting and surface, the Harrison oval complex development and footy park redevelopment, and the Kippax oval redevelopment. He also played a significant part in disabilities cricket—developing and piloting programs for Cricket Australia in the ACT and winning the Chief Minister's excellence for inclusion award in 2012, as well as for the inclusion of the ACT Meteors in the Women's National Cricket League in the 2009-10 season.

In talent development, Mark oversaw, with the high performance coaching staff, the development of both male and female players going on to higher honours, including Nathan Lyon, Jason Behrendorff, Ryan Carters and Kris Britt, just to name a few. In addition, he helped to bring international cricket to Manuka oval, including the Australian cricket team in 2013, for the first time in Canberra, the recent cricket


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