Meals on Wheels

27 October 2015

Mr SPEIRS ( Bright ) ( 15:40 ): I rise today to pay tribute to the work of a great organisation which serves the community in my electorate: Meals on Wheels.

Meals on Wheels has a significant presence across the Bright electorate, having branches at both Hallett Cove and Brighton. I just want to talk about the service that Meals on Wheels contributes to the community and also provide some names of people who go above and beyond in their service to the local Meals on Wheels branches in Hallett Cove and Brighton.

The two organisations combined serve hundreds of meals every week to those who are perhaps a little frailer and unable to prepare their own meals. Not only does Meals on Wheels provide vital sustenance for many older people living in our community but Meals on Wheels also ensures that there is a knock on the door, that the doorbell is being rung and that someone is checking on these older people in our community on a regular basis.

That, I think, actually has equal value to providing meals to older people in our community—being able to have that ongoing connection, with a familiar face knocking on the door and making sure that they are doing okay. If they need any extra assistance, that can be brought to the attention of family, friends, or the appropriate authorities. That is often an unrecognised benefit of an organisation like Meals on Wheels, but one that I really want to emphasise is incredibly important to the community I represent. There are many older people in my electorate who benefit from this great organisation.

On 26 August this year, I had the pleasure of going along to the AGM of the Hallett Cove branch of Meals on Wheels. I was able to catch up with many of the regulars who are involved in putting that organisation together. It was an opportunity for the long-serving chair of Hallett Cove Meals on Wheels, Llew Jones, to step down from that role and to be replaced by Mr Gordon Burns, another Hallett Cove stalwart who no doubt will carry on Llew's great work in Meals on Wheels, Hallett Cove.

At the AGM at Hallett Cove, there were a number of achievement awards for service provided to those who are involved in that branch. I would like to name those people this afternoon. We had a number of people who received five-year service awards, including Eric Ebelthite, Raymond Hadchity, Robert Joyce, Anne Cavanagh, Beverley Leader and Wayne McGrath.

Eric Ebelthite was also a recipient of a City of Marion Unsung Hero Award earlier in the year for his work with Meals on Wheels Hallett Cove. Pat Anesbury and Carol Shaw were awarded 10‑year service awards, and Yvonne Gill received a 15-year service award. These are all people who have been exceptional contributors to the Hallett Cove Meals on Wheels branch.

I also want to make mention of the Brighton Meals on Wheels AGM, which I attended earlier this month, on 12 October. It is another great organisation, and a particularly large branch of Meals on Wheels. It is one of the largest in the state, serving quite a large area, covering the northern part of my electorate and stretching next door into the member for Mitchell's electorate as well. Mr John Francis is the chair there and does a great job and oversees a large group—an army, really—of volunteers.

Service awards which were given out included one year to Jake Glass, a friend of mine and someone who is doing great work for Meals on Wheels; five years to Norman Boucher, Monica McGee, Rosemary Miller, Bill Purling, Julie Skillitzi and Beverley Wigglesworth; 10-year service awards were given to John Conigrave, Terry Maddison, Olwen Moore and Maxine Reid; and 15-year service awards were given to Robert Earle, Margot Eime, Leon Gregory, Adam Jablonskas, Marian Maitland and Elizabeth Milner.

Twenty-year service awards went to Mary Francis and Rae Stranger; 30 years—this lady has been doing it for as long as I have been alive—went to Phyllis Boots; 45 years went to Margaret Fairhead; and a service award was also given to Brighton Uniting Church for hosting Meals on Wheels in our community for 55 years. Congratulations and thanks to them all.

Extracted from Hansard