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Thank you for your indulgence, Mr. Deputy Speaker. It is much appreciated. The many businesses of Northern Tasmania, particularly in the Bass electorate, will also appreciate your indulgence on this matter.
On Monday evening many of us had the pleasure to attend the Tasmanian Hospitality Association official awards dinner for 2021.
A number of small businesses, hospitality businesses and medium businesses were recognised and in my role as Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition with a focus on small business, startups and the Northern economy, it gives me great pleasure to recognise the wonderful businesses that received awards on that night.
I want to start with a number of individuals who were recognised for their investment and contribution to the industry.A couple who have invested over four decades into this great place and made an impact across the country are Suzanne and Ralph Norton from the Norton Hospitality Group. They were recognised for their contribution and it was wonderful to see them and to know that in Launceston their businesses have a great reputation and great regard, and it was lovely to see them on stage on Monday evening.
Similarly, one of Launceston's favourites on Charles Street, Ritsa Nicholas was recognised for her incredible work.
Although there were many highlights on the evening, for me personally coming in to this whole new world and everything being serious and important and people being recognised, which is wonderful, who could forget the fantastic introduction by Anne of the Bertie Tucceri Award. Anne was splendorous in her introduction of the evening and she did not want to give the microphone up, but I love people's passion and particularly in hospitality people have a passion and that was so great to hear and also for Ritsa to be recognised.
A number of local establishments have given so much to our community over what has been a really tough almost two years now. Many of the organisations in this industry across Tasmania have been generous and kind in their difficult times to people in our community. I want to recognise the Metz in Launceston, which pivoted through this time through COVID, and many of the recognitions given on the evening were not only for the significance of each of these organisations but also for the way they go about their operating and for their tenacity to survive through what has been difficult times, so I am recognising the Metz in Launceston, Tonic Bar and Black Cow, Stelo at Pierres, Rupert and Hound, the 9/11 Launceston and Cataract on Paterson.
We are blessed in Northern Tasmania, particularly in the Tamar Valley and especially in Launceston, to have incredible operators in the hospitality industry and this afternoon I rise to congratulate them all.
Mr. Speaker, this afternoon I had the honour to give my first speech to this House and I talked much around the possibilities and the opportunities for not only families, individuals and communities but also for business and industry. There is no doubt why we recognise and celebrate much that is good in our community. We also spend our time here reflecting on the ways that we are able to make contributions to people finding it tough at the moment.
There are two organisations that I want to raise and acknowledge this afternoon and individuals who support these organisations. Danielle Watkins has been the inspiration and the big idea behind of GroWaverley. She is an incredible woman: a family and community member who is making life a little better for people in the local community in Waverley. At the moment they are implementing an initiative with the support of the Salvation Army, the Tassie Face Mask Project and, in fact, with the support of Richard Archer, the member for Bass at the federal level, with their winter warmer packages.
They are going through the process of providing for the kids at the local school, the young kids in the local community and their families, with the utensils and ingredients required to make simple meals for winter.
Many of the young people who have provided feedback on this incredible program talk about the joy of making meals for the first time together as a family, the joy of having a beautiful warm meal to enjoy, and whether it is something simple like vegie fritters or baked potatoes or spaghetti bolognaise, in the winter warmer packs that are provided at the Waverley Co-op, everything is in the package that is required to put together these meals. This afternoon I wanted to recognise Danielle for the work she does with the community in bringing in volunteers to provide these great opportunities for locals in Waverley.
Finally this evening, I want to reflect on something that Mr. Ferguson rose to speak about last week, which is the incredible work of Loaves and Fishes and their winter solstice swim that happened at the lovely, and I could almost say tropical, Greens Beach on Sunday morning. It was pretty warm and I think we are pretty lucky because initially it was intended that our dip was to raise funds to provide nutritious and affordable meals.
This initiative is about raising money in order to provide these meals into the community and they had set an early target that was smashed and now I think with just a few days to go they are seeking to raise $60,000, which is an incredible amount of money and provides great food for people in our community.
On Sunday it was meant to be freezing but I think it was probably around 14 degrees, and there were around 50 people who took the dip in the morning and by the time we got in there, supported by St Johns Ambulance volunteers and the Surf Lifesaving Association, everyone was enjoying it, which was great. Sometimes you have to get out of your comfort zone and do things you are not intending that may scare or worry you, but you do that to support people raising funds in our community. We all know what it is like and to be in a position to be able to support that organisation in their community is something really special.
June 30, 2021 - 6:16pm
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