It's been a big week across the Dubbo electorate, and may I lead off the column this week by thanking the brave people attached to the NSW Rural Fire Service and other emergency agencies for the work they are doing in battling fires across NSW.
Firies from our region have been deployed to various locations to assist with battling the blazes, most notably in the Port Macquarie, Forster, Taree, Glen Innes and Coffs Harbour areas.
Over the past few weeks I have been involved in a number of ceremonies with the RFS, including with a graduating group of cadets from Parkes and some long service presentations.
One of my visits was last week to the Cudgegong District RFS, where 36 volunteers were recognised for a combined service of 955 years to the organisation, including Jim Lynch and Malcolm Roth, who each have spent more than 65 years attached to the RFS.
I also joined the Police and Emergency Services Minister David Elliott in handing over a new tanker to the Dripstone brigade recently and it is these kinds of investments from government and the volunteers themselves that help keep us safe.
I wish our firefighters well in their travels this week.
On Friday I got to join with Joh Leader and the crew at Leaderlife at Apollo House in Dubbo for a presentation of $50,000 for the Soil2Soul project.
This money will help Leaderlife start a venture at the lime farm in Narromine, giving the vulnerable youth from the Apollo House region a chance to learn skills and contribute to the business.
Since being elected in March, the NSW Government has placed a big emphasis on working to help the younger generations, and programs such as this are examples of government and community coming together and making a difference.
I thank the Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward for seeing the value in the Leaderlife program and making the funding a reality.
I will continue working to try and find further support for Soil2Soul to keep the good work going.
Hidden Treasures list
Three wonderful women from our electorate were recognised last week, when they were announced on the 2019 Hidden Treasures list.
Dubbo breast cancer advocate and founder of the Groovy Booby Bus Donna Falconer, Geurie's Justine Williams and Narromine's Kerry Roberts were given their awards at a special morning tea held at my electorate office.
Justine's business Workabout Australia helps people find employment while she volunteers with numerous organisations and she uses her love of running to raise valuable funds for Epilepsy Australia.
Kerry is a sporting pioneer in Narromine, who has been involved with swimming, triathlon and many other sports and her work has ensured there are a number of options for people looking to keep active in the town.
All three are deserving winners and I wish them well with their future endeavours.
Until next week,