WINDALE INTERAGENCY COMMUNITY ALLIANCE
Mr ANDREW CORNWELL
(Charlestown) [7.33 p.m.]: Today I acknowledge the wonderful work of the Windale Interagency Community Alliance, known as WICA, and what this organisation does for the electorate of Charlestown. WICA is a partnership made up of local agencies and the Windale community, all with the same ambitions and long-term goals for their community. Representatives from organisations, groups and residents within the Windale community are working together for the betterment of Windale. Last Friday I had the privilege of hosting the Minister for Sport, the Hon. Graeme Annesley, in my electorate and we presented a cheque for $5,000 to WICA under the New South Wales Government's 2011-12 Sport and Recreation Participation Program.
Increasing participation in sport and physical activity is a key priority for the New South Wales Government, and grassroots projects run in local communities are a great way to target people and groups that need a little extra help to participate in sport. WICA has been awarded the grant to sponsor young sportspeople in the Windale community to enable them to participate in sport and physical activity. We want to ensure that our young people have the best possible start in life, and this grant will enable young people who may not otherwise have the opportunity to engage. One focus for this money is to ensure all young people in Windale have the opportunity to learn to swim.
The Hunter is blessed with beautiful beaches and waterways, and it is imperative that all young people have the skills to enjoy these assets safely. I acknowledge the work done by the team at WICA: President Susan McQuillan, Vice-President Cassandra Ryan, Secretary Craig Parker, Treasurer Faye Millward, and committee members Roselea Newburn, Larissa Williams, Marilyn Lettice and Peter Field. I also acknowledge the contribution of Wendy Williams and her work with WICA up until her recent break from the organisation. This is another excellent example of the New South Wales Government working with the local community to ensure the best possible outcomes for the people of Windale.
WICA is a great example of a proud and strong community supporting itself. Windale is perhaps the strongest community in my electorate in terms of its commitment to supporting those less fortunate. The group raises money, both directly with government by applying for relevant grants and by weekend barbeques at a local retailer. It also produces a fantastic bimonthly newsletter, "The Phoenix". "The Phoenix" is distributed at local shops and businesses and invariably the local community take all of the available copies within 24 hours of its distribution. This demonstrates the relevance of the publication to the community and also the enthusiasm with which the community wants to hear their own stories, engage within the community and participate in community activities. "The Phoenix" editorial team clearly does a wonderful job. The magazine has a roving reporter—which WICA members sometimes refer to as the "raving reporter"—who seeks out local stories and brings them to the wider community.
I acknowledge Housing NSW, which is working with the Windale community on a transformation strategy that will see many old, substandard dwellings demolished and replaced with more modern dwellings, leading to better social outcomes and therefore further strengthening of the community. The team at Housing NSW works tirelessly for the community in Windale and I commend the team at the Charlestown office, ably led by Dallas Hicks, who support the community both with housing and addressing social needs. Windale is one of the wonderful communities within my electorate. It has grown from a major public housing development in the 1950s to a community that now stands very much on its own feet. It has an absolutely wonderful future. Organisations like WICA are the sinews that help bind the community. Its efforts, along with the work put in by Housing NSW and other groups such as the Windale Junior Rugby League Club, will see Windale go from strength to strength.
Private members' statements concluded.
The House adjourned, pursuant to standing and sessional orders, at 7.38 p.m. until
Wednesday 7 March 2012 at 10.00 a.m.