Speeches

CONSTITUENCY STATEMENT - THE PANTRY, WANGARA - TUESDAY, 23 JULY 2019

July 23, 2019

HANSARD

FEDERATION CHAMBER

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA

TUESDAY 23 JULY 2019

THE PANTRY

I'm sure that many of us have memorable moments to share about the election campaign. One of my most memorable moments was knocking on the door of local resident Kevin Combes. Kevin is the manager of The Pantry in Wangara, which is a charitable organisation that offers food for those in need. When I knocked on Kevin's door, he told me a story and related his own experience of when he fell on hard times and how he felt during those times. His experience drove him into action to open up and offer charity to those most in need, in an environment that is non-judgemental and helps people to retain their dignity. We both shared our own stories of falling on hard times and just how difficult it is to ask for help during those times.

I'm happy to announce that, a short time ago, The Pantry in Wangara was awarded a Bankwest grant of $1,000. But that's never enough, because last month alone The Pantry provided 6,000 boxes of food to local residents, charities and community organisations around Cowan. They do this amazing work while relying wholly and solely on volunteers who give up their generous time. So I'd like to mention some of those volunteers. I'd like to mention Pastor Daniel Alderden, who is the pastor of the Reality Church that runs The Pantry in Wangara, and the floor managers Christine Foti, Cita Boynes, Hazel Kendrick and Kevin Dunlop, who, by the way, also gives really great hugs. All of these generous volunteers, and many, many more, give up their precious time, day in and day out, to help The Pantry do the work that it does to ensure that the people of Cowan and community groups in Cowan have access to food and the items that they need when they fall on hard times.

It truly is a testament to just how bad some people are doing it out there in our community that one out of four people on Newstart are over the age of 55 and on there not because they want to be but because they can't find work or they've been retrenched. As somebody who's been in that situation, I know that many people who fall on hard times are there not out of choice but because of circumstance. So I commend Kevin and The Pantry on the wonderful work they do. They know that my door will always be open to them and I'll always support them. I commend them also for truly showing the spirit of the people of Cowan.