24 August 2020


I rise to acknowledge the residents of Greenway for the way in which they continue to respond to the health, social and economic impacts of COVID-19. These past few months have been difficult and there will be difficult times ahead, but I want to thank you for the way in which you've responded to the health advice and behaved responsibly in these unprecedented circumstances. Now, of course, is not the time for complacency. We must continue to be vigilant with our hygiene, social distancing and taking care of one another.

On that point, there are simply too many to name today, but I want to acknowledge some of the very special individuals and organisations who are helping our community through this pandemic. They are people like Mark Tough, the senior minister at St Clements Anglican Church in Lalor Park, who runs a community pantry to support those in need. Every second Wednesday at St Clements, locals can fill a bag of groceries for only $10. Reverend Tough is an inspiring local leader with whom I've worked with in a variety of circumstances. Thanks to you and your congregation for your important work.

The Australian Sikh Association has been invaluable in its assistance to individuals and families who have been in quarantine. They have provided nightly food deliveries throughout the pandemic, in addition to their fundraising efforts over the past 12 months to support those devastated by the bushfires. On behalf of this place, I acknowledge the ASA's important contribution. I pay tribute to your spirit of compassion. Your works are an embodiment of the values of Sikhism.

I acknowledge the Hindu Council of Australia for the food support they have offered to families doing it tough. The Hindu Benevolent Fund has gone above and beyond, delivering food staples to those in need, including international students locked out of other forms of support. Thank you to the Hindu Council for the fantastic work you do and to the partnerships you've had with many private enterprises, small businesses and local councils in Western Sydney.

I want to thank Turbans 4 Australia, led by Amar Singh and his team, who again have come off the back of the devastating bushfires and supported communities outside of New South Wales in so many ways. They have their own businesses and they have their own families. They barely have gone home to see their families in a very long time. I visited them at their distribution centre in Liverpool. The passion these people have for helping one another is very clear. It is one of the reasons I believe we are going to get through this together.

Similarly, I want to thank the team at the BAPS temple at Rose Hill. They have utilised technology not only in helping people keep in touch but also in gathering food for their community and assisting with people's mental health. They have gone above and beyond in keeping in touch with their congregation and ensuring that no-one has been left behind.

Australians will get through this pandemic together. Thank you to the thousands of people who've offered their struggling neighbour a hand, helped give reliable information and worked to unite us as a community. A big thank you from everyone in this place.