Page 874 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 6 April 2022

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As you can probably tell, Colin is a selfless, caring person who does a lot to help other people and never asks for any recognition or praise. It is thanks to his very proud wife, Avril, that I am able to share this story with you today. As we approach ANZAC Day—and all the time—I feel it is important to recognise not only the personal sacrifice that our defence personnel make for Australia but also the closeness and shared experience of all those in the veteran community that remains long after their act of service has ended.

Colin’s story demonstrates the compassion, mateship and respect that our veterans community hold for each other. To all veterans, and their families, I would like to say thank you for your service. I thank Colin for his generosity and all he does for our Canberra community. I would like to add my thanks to those 13 marines and their families for their service and sacrifice.

Ms Sharon Leigh-Hazell—tribute

MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra—Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Business and Better Regulation, Minister for Human Rights and Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (5.04): I rise tonight to acknowledge and reflect on the extraordinary contribution of the outgoing convenor of Florey Neighbourhood Watch, Sharon Leigh-Hazell. Sharon began Florey Neighbourhood Watch after there were several burglaries in and around where she lived and one of Sharon’s neighbours, Rachel, wrote to residents to meet up and discuss what was happening. What was immediately apparent to those who did meet was that they did not know each other. They knew this needed to change, and Florey Neighbourhood Watch was born.

In just a few years, there has been so much that has occurred, and it really stopped me in my tracks thinking about it and, indeed, compiling it. There was the Facebook group and then the newsletter, which are still regular to this day, compiled by Sharon and delivered regularly by volunteers to all residents in Florey, which Sharon has helped build in a sustainable way. There have been events for community connection, contribution and celebration. These have included well-attended community forums bi-monthly at the Florey school hall, with guest speakers ranging from the local police to the Rural Fire Service. They are tightly run and give everyone the opportunity to catch up at the end over tea and biscuits.

There have been clean-up days, coinciding with Clean Up Australia Day and beyond, and tamper-free screw days where the screws used on the numberplates on your car can be replaced with ones that cannot be loosened by screwdrivers. There have been sausage sizzles and plantings for Floriade, and end of year gatherings. Memorably, there was the Fabulous Florey Community Fair Day, organised at the Florey school, with an enormous turnout, at the end of 2019. The fair involved a medley of community and government organisations, businesses and sporting groups sharing their knowledge and the way in which they enhance the community, with all the attendees. Again, it was Sharon who was behind this, with a healthy band of volunteers on the committee, but it was her vision and drive that saw it come to life.

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