On Friday I hosted the 2012 Mayoral Charity Dinner at Bankstown Sports Club in support of Bankstown Hospital’s Paediatric Unit. The event was a resounding success with initial counting suggesting that a record amount of over $67,000 was raised to help Bankstown’s sick kids. Vince Sorrenti did a terrific job as MC and performances by vocalists from the Talent Advancement Program were among the evening’s many highlights. I thank Bankstown Sports and all those who generously supported the fundraiser. A special thank you to the Hanna family (JSN Hanna Constuctions) for their $12,000 donation, along with St Euphemia College, Peter Theo OAM, Bankstown Rotary, Volkswagon, George Ghossayn, Kaymat Constructions, Nader Jewellers, Torch Publishing and Ronis Real Estate
Close to 500 guests joined in festivities including Carol Famer, Dr Phillip Emder of Bankstown Hospital and their staff along with many community leaders, business representatives and Club Directors. Daryl Melham MP, Kayee Griffin representing Tony Burke MP, Tania Mihailuk MP, Glenn Brookes MP, Guy Zangari MP, Shaoquett Moselmane MLC, Deputy Mayor Allan Winterbottom and Councillors Linda Downey, Alex Kuskoff, Naji Najjar, Max Parker, Michael Tadros and Glen Waud, along with Mayors and Councillors from neighbouring Councils were amongst the dignitaries lending their support to this great cause.
Earlier that day I had the pleasure of officially opening Monkey Mania at Bankstown Sports. The facility boasts the largest indoor play structure in Australia for kids and is yet another example of Bankstown’s leading sport and recreational facilities. It was great to see students from Caroline Chisholm Special School enjoying a great time. With school holidays now on, Monkey Mania will no doubt be much appreciated by local families and those visiting from out of area. Tania Mihailuk MP was also in attendance.
On Saturday morning I attended the NAIDOC Week Family Event staged in Paul Keating Park. I welcomed the opportunity to pay tribute to Bankstown’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and reinforce council’s commitment to them. Bankstown Council was one of the first Council’s in NSW to sign a Reconciliation Action Plan, which was also a historic first for Bankstown City. Clr Pam Gavin, Tania Mihailuk MP, Clr Alex Kuskoff and Daryl Melham MP were amongst the guests.
The grand final of Round Three of Bankstown’s wildly popular Midnight Basketball program was held on Saturday night. I was impressed by the outstanding talent of the young players and by the good sportsmanship displayed during the games. The program not only encourages active and healthy lifestyles, but also helps build essential life skills, such as discipline, team work, goal setting, mental health and communication and decision making. Congratulations to everyone who took part.
I thank Clr Kuskoff for representing me at the Villawood NAIDOC Festival on Sunday and conveying my respect and goodwill to the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community
Last Wednesday morning I paid a visit to my old school, St John Vianney, where I had the opportunity to answer questions from Year 4 students on Council and my role as Mayor. I was encouraged by their genuine interest in issues affecting our community and keen willingness to learn about local government and the functions of Council.
Later that morning I also attended the 8th Anniversary of Hua Xing Seniors Group Bankstown. Council strongly supports the Group by providing the Bankstown Seniors Centre as a venue for them to meet and funding their umbrella organisation, CASS. I congratulate Hua Xing Seniors on their anniversary. Tania Mihailuk MP was also there.
On Wednesday I was also invited to Bankstown Legacy’s Changeover Dinner. Since 1964, the organisation has been providing invaluable support to residents who have lost loved ones in war. I thank Legacy’s volunteers for their hard work and community spirit. Tania Mihailuk also attended the function. Congratulations to Legatee Alan Rawlinson on his election as President.
Last Tuesday Clr Downey represented me at The Rotary Club of Padstow Inc - Annual Presidential Changeover Dinner. I thank her for attending on my behalf and conveying my appreciation to the Club for their generous support of the Bankstown community.