Members Statement - Ripon community groups

22 February 2023

Martha HAYLETT (Ripon) (10:09):

This week I will be tabling a petition in my name on behalf of the member for Bendigo West from the Castlemaine Primary School community calling for an upgrade to their playground facilities.

I want to take the opportunity today to acknowledge some of the amazing locals I have met across my electorate during the past fortnight. Last week I caught up with the super women behind the St Arnaud community kitchen, who feed delicious three-course lunches to so many locals in need every week. They have hearts of gold and won the Northern Grampians shire’s Community Group of the Year award as a result. That day I also had the pleasure of catching up with Andrew, Russell, Greg and others from the St Arnaud Community Resource Centre, whose team of 10 volunteers provide food relief, homelessness support, digital literacy lessons and more to locals.

Last week I also caught up with Sue Horsley in Newbridge, who is helping coordinate the flood recovery efforts at the recreation reserve. She is also a much-loved teacher at Tarnagulla Primary School and won one of Loddon shire’s 2023 community service awards.

Hannah Lanfranchi is another exceptional local. She won Central Goldfields shire’s 2023 Young Citizen of the Year award and is school captain at Highview College. I had the pleasure of meeting Hannah recently at her Queen’s Scout Award night, where her family were beaming with pride.

A special shout-out also to Wayne, Troy, Ben and Zach, who I met at Ballarat airport last week. They fight fires from the air using a Black Hawk helicopter, saving lives and helping protect so many across Ripon every fire season.

Lastly, I congratulate my friends at Ballarat Hindu Temple and Cultural Centre for hosting such a beautiful Maha Shivratri festival in Ballarat on Saturday night.