A week of milestones
Several great milestones have been achieved this week, with the opening of Macquarie Home Stay in Dubbo, a celebration of the extensive upgrades at Dubbo Airport, and of course the wonderful news on Australia Day that seven deserving recipients in the Parkes electorate have been named in the Australia Day 2019 Honours List. This year I was honoured to be asked to be the Australia Day Ambassador in my hometown of Warialda.
I was pleased to welcome Minister for Families and Social Services, The Hon Paul Fletcher MP, to the Parkes electorate for an important funding announcement for headspace in Dubbo, and a visit to Bourke. I was able to show the Minister excellent organisations in my electorate such as Westhaven in Dubbo amongst others, which are assets for the provision of family and disability services for the Western NSW region.
Applications are now open for the 2019 NAIDOC grants round, offering a great opportunity for eligible organisations in my electorate to receive funding for activities in NAIDOC Week (7-14 July 2019). NAIDOC grants support communities to celebrate the histories, cultures and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples during this special week.
Possible projects include arts based activities such as painting, dancing, crafts and storytelling, family fun days, cultural activities, bush tucker activities and more. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous legal entities may apply for NAIDOC funding (schools and correctional facilities are eligible to apply).
An application kit and submission details are available at https://www.pmc.gov.au/indigenous-affairs/grants-and-funding/naidoc-week-funding. Applications close 25 February 2019.
Life-changing organ donations
Australia has recorded a major increase in lifesaving and life changing organ donations and transplants, following a record rise in donor consent rates over the past year.
With the greatest number of people donating their organs, a record 1,544 Australians received transplants in 2018 (144 more than the previous year). The 2018 results will place Australia in the top 15 countries in the world for organ donation – a great achievement.
Around 1,400 Australians are currently waitlisted for a transplant, meaning it is crucial that everyone thinks about donation, talks to their families and registers on the Australian Organ Donor Register. You can register online at www.donatelife.gov.au in less than a minute, to give someone a second chance at life.
Take action against bullying
Many students across the Parkes electorate would now be returning to school for another great year of study – a good time to consider the actions we can all take to combat bullying.
Registrations are now open for schools to sign up to the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence on Friday 15 March 2019, and I strongly encourage teachers and school leaders in my electorate to become involved.
The National Day of Action is a movement against bullying and cyberbullying, and registered schools in my electorate will receive new anti-bullying materials and teaching resources.
Two million students nationally took part in last year’s event, and I think this year we can do better. Register to become a National Day of Action school at www.bullyingnoway.gov.au