Page 2096 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 15 May 2013

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Kirk Family Foundation trivia night

MR COE (Ginninderra) (6.31): Madam Speaker, before I say the remarks which I prepared earlier, I would like to also acknowledge two recipients of today’s volunteer of the year awards. They are the volunteers at Ronald McDonald House and Chris Ellis of Kippax Uniting Church. I have had some involvement with both those winners—Chris Ellis from Kippax and Ronald McDonald House. I can certainly say that both are very worthy winners, appropriately acknowledged by Volunteering ACT today.

On 14 April I was pleased to attend the first Kirk Family Foundation trivia night. The trivia night was attended by nearly 200 people and raised $70,000 for the foundation, which will be distributed by the Lions clubs in Queanbeyan, Yass and Braidwood. The masters of ceremony were John Barilaro, the New South Wales state member for Monaro, and Peter Lindbeck, the owner of Lindbeck’s Butchery in Queanbeyan and a member of the foundation’s board.

The Kirk Family Foundation was established by Don and Barbara Kirk in 2007. Its vision is to improve lives and strengthen the Queanbeyan community by providing opportunities for children and youth. It aspires to support them in their development to be resilient and well-adjusted individuals. The foundation gives assistance in the areas of health, education and sport to disadvantaged children and youth in the Queanbeyan, Yass and Palerang areas.

Since it was established, the foundation has distributed $250,000 worth of grants to over 100 children and their families. The grants have included funding for children to study dance in New York, to study music in Sydney and to tour Sri Lanka to further cricket talents. The foundation also provided funds to restore the SmartStart for Kids program to Queanbeyan schools in 2012. SmartStart used the funds to provide health and health and fitness assessments for 700 schoolchildren.

Don Kirk was just 14 when he left St Edmund’s College to work. He was soon working as a fuel distributor and continued to operate a fuel distribution business for the next 30 years. Don also owned a demolition contract and recycling building material supplies business and a truck dealership. He was a heavy transport consultant to Indigenous Business Australia and the joint operator of Canberra Off Road, which provided engineering equipment for four-wheel-drive and mining vehicles. Other enterprises Don has been involved with include breeding commercial beef cattle, and rural residential land development through his partnership in Land Development Co. Don has also been involved in the management of many other organisations.

Don and his wife, Barbara, decided to invest $1 million in the establishment of the Kirk Family Foundation in 2007 to give to children in need in their local area. The other members of the foundation are Trudi Kon, Tania Donohue, Marcus Chacos, Peter Lindbeck, Sue Whelan, Peta Thompson, Karen Fogarty and Lee Bath.

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