Feb 12, 2015

Our Youth Our Future Speech – 12 Feb 2015

In this fine chamber I would like to raise the matter of some very young people that I am very proud of. On Monday, 15 December last year, 46 students from 45 local schools in my constituency were recognised at my Holt Community Spirit and Leadership Awards, which were held at the Cranbourne Community Theatre.

The Hold Community Spirit and Leadership Awards were attended by about 250 people. I want to give this chamber a bit of a background as to why I made the awards. We hear a lot about my region if things go wrong, which will make the front pages of the Herald Sun or The Age. But you hear so little about what goes right. And what is going right in the great area that I represent are with the thousands and thousands of young people that are the future of our country and the future of our community. And they do good works, and they attend school each day.

I wanted to amplify and highlight the good that our young are doing in our community—not just the bad. I have been running these awards for many years, and I say to this chamber that it has caught on. We have hundreds of people now attending these ceremonies, as we did with the Holt Australia Day awards.

In the time remaining—I do not have much—I would like to talk about some of the young people that I gave this award to and some of the work that they have been doing, which should be commended. For example, there is a young volunteer in my office called Casey Lowen, who has been through some very challenging circumstances, in losing her sister in a car accident. She is a young lady with a great future ahead of her from Narre Warren South P-12 College.

Casey was involved in the Walk for Andrea, which is a VCAL fundraising walk from Narre Warren South to Flinders Street station. It is 48 kilometres. Casey has some challenges that make even walking a kilometre hard, but walking 48 kilometres and raising over $5,000 for breast cancer awareness just takes my breath away. I am very proud of her and I want her to know how proud I am of her.

There were other impressive stories, like the story of Rachel and Kelly Jones from Beaconhills College, who, in response to their much loved PE teacher, Scott McConchie, who was fighting a terminal brain tumour, walked 20 kilometres in 3½ hours and raised $1,700. Another story was of a young man from Clyde Primary School, who is dedicated to the local community. Daniel is an ambassador to local war veterans. You hear about young people not respecting war veterans. That is not the case in my region. He does a lot of work in Anzac Day and Remembrance Day ceremonies.

I am running out of time. I could give you 46 examples from 45 schools. Let’s talk about the positive work that our young people do. They are the future of our country. If we focused more on that and less on the negativity I think our young people would feel that their contributions were valued much more.


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