Page 3804 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 18 October 2005

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they handed out the plaques of appreciation to each of the groups, there were three mounds about 45 cm tall on the table—that is very hard to describe for Hansard—of plaques for the various Capital Chemist outlets. They are all involved and put a lot of effort into supporting the cancer society. Of course, they also deal with these people on a day-to-day basis in their premises.

The star of the night, who never intends to be the star but always is, was the founder of the organisation, Yvonne Cuschieri, who has resigned as the CEO. Tony Waddell will be taking over. Yvonne is not particularly tall but the shoes are huge. After 21 years of running the organisation she, at the tender age of 64, has decided to call it a day. I understand Yvonne will stay on the board. If there were ever anybody who should wear the badge of being a good Australian it is Yvonne Cuschieri. Generous to a fault, she would give you the shirt off her back and then find something else to give you. Tireless in the time, effort and resources she has put into this organisation, she really is the heart and soul of the ACT Eden Monaro Cancer Support Group. I do not know what steps the group will take next year to thank Yvonne, but when she retires early in the new year certainly something will have to be done to thank her properly.

The group have bought things like flotation chairs, ripple mattresses and the Vital Call system. They have two special beds, they have bought two kangaroo pumps for stomach feeding, and there are oxygen concentrators and electric motor scooters. Those are just a few of the items available on loan to people. They have purchased videos, televisions, recliner chairs, computers, flotation chairs, electrical appliances and other pieces of medical equipment for the hospitals, and medical and schoolroom items for the Sydney Children’s Hospital at Randwick where, of course, our local children attend various specialists. The group has a guiding rule that all the moneys raised be donated to help the families. Moneys raised must go into the family assistance account. In that, I think they do a really good job. They face the same dilemmas all community organisations face but they do so I think with a great deal of zeal and goodness. They are a very hard group to resist.

Sharability charity bowls day

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (6.09): To have the opportunity to open a sporting event is something that is pretty rare for me. I have to admit that athletic ability is one of the skills I do not have. I believe young people would refer to me as being “unco”. Be that as it may, on Monday of the recent long weekend I was privileged to be able to launch the Belconnen Bowling Club charity day to raise money for Sharability, to support people with intellectual disabilities and their carers. Not only did I launch the proceedings but I also participated—and indeed I have photos to prove it.

The day was also supported by the Canberra Belconnen Lions Club, whose members provided the barbeque lunch. Also featured was Harold Hird, a well-known former member of this place, whose superb old-style auctioneering skills were well to the fore. In addition, members of the Variety Bash team brought along their party bus and took members of Sharability on tours of the city. This great fun day was made possible by funding from Healthpact. Not only did it raise much-needed funds for the work of Sharability but it was also a great opportunity for people such as me to learn a new skill and meet new people. If I may say so, I did not let the side down but managed to win three ends.

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