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CONSTITUENCY STATEMENTS – Bennelong Electorate: Badminton, Bennelong Electorate: The Extra Mile Project

14 May 2014

 

Mr ALEXANDER (Bennelong) (09:40): I rise to inform the House of two different developments in my local Bennelong electorate relating to badminton and charity.

Just recently I was made aware of not one but two world-class badminton players residing in Bennelong. Michael Fariman was recently awarded Australian citizenship after moving here from Indonesia some six years ago. His dream has been to represent his new home at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in July. Michael gave up his full-time job to pursue his passion for badminton and since last year has been ranked the No. 1 men’s singles badminton player in Australia—a great achievement. Bennelong also boasts Jennifer Tam, a young lady who has previously received Bennelong Local Sporting Champions Grants. Jennifer may still be a high school student, but she is now the No. 2 ranked women’s singles badminton player in Australia. What a fantastic advertisement these two young people are for the sport of badminton.

I will be catching up with both Jennifer and Michael later this week at the Epping YMCA to watch them in action and to wish them both the very best in the coming weeks when the Australian Badminton Team is announced ahead of the Glasgow games. I am very confident that both these talented young players, polite and decent people, will make us proud as sporting ambassadors for Australia.

I also wish to inform the House about a worthwhile community project underway at Arden Anglican School in Bennelong. For the past seven years, students from Arden Anglican School have made annual trips to Cambodia and Vietnam as part of The Extra Mile Project. So far, they have built 100 houses in poverty-stricken areas. This year, a group of 42 year 11 students are preparing to go next month. The students pay their own fares and also raise funds to go directly to the purchase of materials and hardware. Local businesses have become involved by placing donation tins on their counters for customers to donate their loose change to this worthy project.

Recently I visited Arden to join students for their Mystery Monday fundraising activities, where students made a gold coin donation to challenge me in the sport of table tennis. I am much too humble to say who won! As part of the project, students will visit local orphanages and be in other confronting situations during their visit.

I am continually impressed by the social responsibility and awareness of the young people of Bennelong, like these Arden students, and I applaud them for their efforts. Members of the public who would like to support The Extra Mile Project can visit the website, theextramileproject.com.

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