01 September 2016


It gives me great pleasure to rise and speak today on Greenway's Olympic heroes.

Timothy Hodge is a 15-year-old swimmer who lives in Kings Langley. When he was four his right foot was amputated when he was identified as having a lower leg deficiency. As reported in the Blacktown Advocate, Timothy said to his mum, Cheryl, when he was recovering from surgery: 'Mum, I will never be good at anything now.' Well, today Timothy stands on the precipice of his dream. He will be swimming for Australia. At Rio he will be competing in five events in the upcoming Paralympics. Timothy will represent not just Australia but the entire Greenway community, and we are so proud of him. Timothy trains with able-bodied athletes. His coach says that Rio is just the beginning as Timothy will hit his peak at Tokyo in 2020. I look forward to cheering on Timothy as he competes in the upcoming games and I wish him all the best from everyone in Greenway.

Timothy is not the only athlete from Greenway participating in the Rio Olympics. Many people will remember the heartache watching the Matildas lose their quarter-final against the hosts, Brazil, in a penalty shootout. After being deadlocked nil all after 120 minutes of world-class play, the Matildas came up just short. Their dedication and commitment was second to none. Blacktown's own Kyah Simon, a veteran with over 60 caps for Australia, played a critical role for the team. Her attacking flair set up a major chance in the quarter-final before being subbed out later in the second half.

Kyah started off in Quakers Hill in the under-eights and has not looked back. Her contribution to the Matildas is unparalleled and no-one will forget her goal against Brazil in the 2015 World Cup. Thank you, Kyah, for representing your community with such grace and skill. It was thrilling to witness your contribution.

There must be something in the water at Quakers Hill, as fellow residents Fabrice Lapierre, who made the long jump final, and Jacob Hansford, who swam in the 4 x 200 metre heats, both made great contributions at Rio. While Fabrice has a long successful career under his belt—a world championship silver medal in 2015 and a Commonwealth Games gold medal in 2010—I am sure we will be seeing much more of Jacob in the future, as he is just 20 years old.

Seeing young adults like Jacob, a local who was also studying business and working at the Blacktown Workers Club, succeed on the world stage sets such a fantastic example for our community. He certainly sends the right message about the results of hard work and dedication. I am sure we can all agree that this is what the Olympics are all about. Representing your country and your community on the world stage means being a role model for the next generation and pushing yourself as far as you can, standing proud and soaking it up. Inspiring others when you do your best is certainly amongst the most worthy acts one can do.

I thank all these wonderful athletes for their contribution. I look forward to continuing to watch what their futures hold. I know that not only the residents of Greenway but certainly all of Australia will be behind our local athletes from Greenway competing at Rio.