Community resilience through COVID-19- Address to the Federation Camber

Community resilience through COVID-19- Address to the Federation Camber  Main Image

By David Smith

10 June 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has put enormous strain on so many local businesses, local families, local not-for-profits and many of our key government services. But it has also shone a light on some of the great people and businesses in our local community.

In that context I want to give a shout-out to the Canberra Southern Cross Club and to Vinnies Canberra-Goulburn archdiocese for their work in preparing and supplying meals and support to those workers and families who need it during this tough time.

The Canberra Southern Cross Club established a job-saver program to support their staff on international visas that were ineligible for JobKeeper assistance. The program has meant that the club have used their kitchens that have otherwise been quiet to increase their support to Vinnies night patrol vans, providing over 500 meals per week to assist people doing it tough in Canberra.

As Vinnies themselves noted: 'During this difficult period, it's great to see an outcome that supports both those people employed at the club as well as the people who turn to Vinnies for help every day.' Well done and thank you to the team at the Canberra Southern Cross Club.

My family and I ourselves look forward to getting back to one of your venues soon for a meal.

The coronavirus pandemic has reminded all of us in our community just how important every worker is to our community, whether that be those that staff the checkout and stack the shelves at a supermarket, early childhood educators, waste management workers, farmers, cleaners or our teachers. They've all been essential to collective efforts to militate against the spread of the coronavirus. However, I do want to give a special mention to our frontline health workers—our nurses, doctors, and allied health professionals.

And I particularly congratulate our local members in Bean on receiving nursing and midwifery excellence awards. These awards recognise and acknowledge the exceptional contribution that nurses and midwives make to the lives of the clients they serve within the broader community and to their professions. The recipients in Bean were Heather Needham for excellence in leadership; Mercy Lukose, for excellence in management; and Nikki Johnston, for excellence in quality improvement and research practice.

I would also like to congratulate Lucy Kenny, from Capital Chemist Calwell, for being named the pharmacy intern of the year, and recognise the work of all in community pharmacy across the region.

It is great to see these local workers recognised for the extraordinary work that they do, particularly under the added pressures and challenges of COVID-19. On behalf of my constituents, the community, and my federal parliamentary colleagues, congratulations and thank you once again.