Page 2932 - Week 09 - Thursday, 18 August 2005

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Zed Seselja mentioned it was a shame that the only state politicians who fronted up were I, as team captain, he and my colleague Mr Pratt, who was the second oldest person, not by much, on the field. He distinguished himself with one particularly excellent run and a few good tackles. Generally, he had a lovely time, even though he was a bit sore afterwards, as was I. It is always good to play with classic Wallabies, people far better footballers than any of us were in our youth. I thank them all for playing.

I will mention also the staff members who played. Justin De Domenico, who has not played much rugby at all, was very good at fullback, exhibiting his Aussie rules talents. John Lane, a former staff member of mine, and Jeremy Johnson, who is currently working in Karin MacDonald’s office, played exceptionally well and made a number of breaks. It was a real rugby game in some ways in that on the Friday night we recruited a couple of players from the Coogee Bay pub—Jamie Underwood, a five-eighth, and Brendan Nerdal, an inside centre, who happen to play for the university team I coach. Recruiting from pubs the night before is a traditional way of making up the numbers for lower grade rugby sides.

Finally, as well as thanking the classic Wallabies, I thank the following members of the ACT vets—if I leave anyone out I owe them a schooner—Lloyd Petty, John Hillier, president of the vets, Michael North, the oldest bloke on the field, even older than Mr Pratt, Gary Crocker and Phil Henry. As I said earlier, if I have left anyone out from the vets I owe them a schooner. All in all, it was a great day of fun. I thank all those who participated.

Daffodil Day

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (5.03): I remind members that tomorrow—Friday, 19 August—is Daffodil Day, the largest fundraising event of the Cancer Council of Australia. Last Sunday morning the Minister for Health, Mr Corbell, was joined by Assembly colleagues Karin MacDonald, Brendan Smyth, Jacqui Burke, Richard Mulcahy and me, the member for Fraser Bob McMullan, Senator Kate Lundy and members of the public for the launch of ACT Cancer Council’s contribution to Daffodil Day on the lawns of the federal mall, where daffodils were planted spelling out the word “hope”.

Daffodil Day is a day to support those who have been touched in some way by cancer and to focus on hope for a cancer-free future. The day, which was created by the Canadian Cancer Council in the early 1980s, is now run by cancer societies in seven countries and accepted internationally as a significant positive symbol representing those who live with cancer and their friends and families. The daffodil was chosen as a symbol of hope for those living with cancer as it is a hardy annual that pushes its way through the frozen earth after a long winter to herald the return of spring, new life, vitality and growth.

Daffodil Day is now in its twelfth year in Australia and is one of Australia’s most popular fundraising events, inspiring as it does the belief that, one day, cancer will be beaten. Great strides are being made in this direction and survival rates are improving all the time. This Friday the Cancer Council hopes to raise $7.8 million nationally. I know that members of the ACT community, as usual, will contribute significantly.

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