I participated in three great events in the Upper Hunter last week.
The first was Denman Public School's NAIDOC Week Assembly where the students showed a real interest in our important Indigenous history and reflected on this year's theme Because of her, We Can!. Full marks go to the school leaders who led the ceremony and those who participated in the Indigenous dance and story-telling.
The second was the official opening of the new toddler play area within Muswellbrook's Highbrook Park where I was joined by the mayor, deputy mayor Rod Scholes, councillors Jason Foy and Michelle Green, key council staff and many parents and children. I was pleased be able to support the council and the community with a $20,000 Stronger Communities grant from the commonwealth. The toddler area and its play equipment is a fantastic addition to what was already a great facility.
Councillor Michelle Green a mother to toddlers herself - spoke eloquently about the benefits of the new facilities.
Full marks go to mayor Martin Rush and the council on a great initiative.
The third event was the official opening of the Neil Barry Stand at Denman Oval. It was a pleasure to secure another $20,000 Stronger Communities grant and an honour to be part of the official opening.
But the real credit goes to the Denman Rugby League Club and all those who worked so hard to bring the project to fruition. Helping the mums and dads of the committee and club were many sponsors and in-kind contributors and I again thank them all.
The ultimate winners are our young sports men and women and it was smart to have the official opening coincide with a round of junior girls tag matches.
Well done Denman Sandy Hollow Junior Rugby League and Denman Rugby League Football clubs.
Again, well done to mayor Martin Rush and the council.
Councillors Gus McNeill, Steve Reynolds, Stephen Ward and of course Rush, all joined us for the happy occasion. Neil Barry, Lynne and the family were rightly proud of the honour bestowed upon Neil for his contribution over so many years.
The drought continues to bite hard, yet nothing of substance has emerged from either the state or federal governments. I thank the many who have taken the opportunity to support the various charitable efforts. Our farming families are doing it tough and the community has responded very typically.