Illawarra community comes together for Relay for Life

relay_3.jpgMr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (13:44): Anybody who has spent any time in the Illawarra knows there is a fantastic sense of community spirit and a community willingness to pitch in and help those who are in need. That spirit—that ethic—was on display this weekend when there were at least four large community events organised to raise funds and awareness for community health issues. On Sunday alone, there was a melanoma walk in Wollongong, which was attended by over 250 people and led by former Olympian Stephanie Rice.

I see the member for Gilmore in the chamber, and she would be aware that on Sunday there was also Kiss Goodbye to MS—or the 'big pash' as many are calling it down in the Illawarra—to raise support and funds for people suffering from multiple sclerosis. They fell well short of the Brazilian record, but you cannot beat the Brazilians when it comes to matters like this.

We also had an arthritis walk on Sunday at Reddall Reserve, but a local member cannot be everywhere which is why, as a patron and ambassador for Relay for Life, I spent time with the Shellharbour community during the Relay for Life. We had over 900 people over the 24 hours of the relay, including a team organised by me. We fell over the line and will raise in excess of $100,000. It also gave carers and people with cancer the opportunity to share a bit of time with the community and get a bit of support. I commend the organisers, particularly Tracy Jansen for her work. (Time expired)