Leigh Creek Family Fun Day (Stuart Electorate)

26 Oct 2021

The Hon. D.C. VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN (Stuart—Minister for Energy and Mining) (15:42): It is a pleasure for me to rise and to share with the house a fantastic event I attended in the electorate of Stuart at Leigh Creek: on Wednesday last week, I attended the annual Flinders Family Fun Day.

It was a tremendous day organised almost exclusively by local Aboriginal leaders. It is not only for Aboriginal people, but it is something that local Aboriginal leaders take the majority of responsibility for organising. Everybody is welcome, and when I say 'everybody' I am not just talking about Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal; I am talking about everybody from babies all the way through to very senior old men and women who are very respected leaders in the community.

It is fantastic to be at Leigh Creek at any time. In fact, the night before I was talking to my wife, Rebecca, and she asked, 'What are you doing tomorrow?', the normal sort of conversation that many of us have, and I said that I was going to Leigh Creek. She said, 'Oh, well, you'll be happy. You'll have a good day tomorrow. Any time you're heading north in your electorate you're happy,' which is true.

That was borne out by my accessing one of the fantastic services available, and I will go into more detail on others. One of the things offered was free blood pressure checks for people, and my blood pressure was far better than it normally ever is. Interestingly, Rebecca had said that the night before, but Sister June, who did my blood pressure check, actually said unprovoked, 'Well, it's because you're here in Leigh Creek. You're just much happier.' What is far more important than that is the fact that anybody could get a blood pressure check.

There were events for young, middle and older people with regard to health, education, sport and native bush tucker, just an extraordinary range of people. Government and non-government agencies came and provided stalls indoors in the gym and outdoors on the oval. There was a free barbecue for everybody who attended. Schoolchildren from the Leigh Creek Area School came across. We would all know that it does not matter where you go—presumably anywhere in the world—any time you have young people, middle-age people and old people all doing things together happy, smiling and relaxed, that is a fantastic event.

I really do thank the organising committee. I believe that Glenise Coulthard, a person many of us in this chamber would know, is the key leader. I am not sure if she has the title of president or chairperson, but it does seem to me that she is the heart and soul of organising this. Her husband, Kingsley, and daughter, Latoya, certainly chip in enormously and lots of other people do.

Unfortunately, I could not get there in time for the official opening, but I am told that Mr Terry Coulthard did a fantastic Welcome to Country on behalf of the Adnyamathanha people. That is something that every single member of this house understands the importance of but something we may not think of so often because we are non-Aboriginal people—at least the members in this chamber of the house—so we always feel fortunate to be welcomed to country.

One of the special things about the Flinders Family Fun Day is that for local Aboriginal people, Adnyamathanha boys, girls, men and women, to actually be in attendance when one of their revered leaders is offering a Welcome to Country to non-Adnyamathanha people is something that the local Adnyamathanha people really enjoy and love to be part of as well. I am told that he did a truly outstanding job.

Picking up rubbish is something that everybody focuses on. Right from setting up, providing all the different services and cleaning up, the day went extremely well. I know that plans for next year are being contemplated. I stress to the Minister for Education that no decision has been made, but it is certainly contemplated that the Flinders Family Fun Day next year might be a day of extracurricular activities for the school students.

The oval, the gym and the facilities that are used there are right next to the school, so it would be fantastic for the kids to be able to enjoy the entire day there and, of course, fantastic for the organisers to know that all the kids will be there for the whole day, because all their friends, families, parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents are there as well, so it is a safe, fantastic and warm environment. I wholeheartedly thank the organisers for doing a fantastic job yet again with the Flinders Family Fun Day at Leigh Creek.