Mrs PHILLIPS (Gilmore) (10:48): Last Saturday night I had the pleasure of attending the spring gala dinner at the Nowra golf club. This inaugural event was organised by the Shoalhaven Community Choir and the Greenwell Point Hospital Auxiliary to raise some much-needed funds for Shoalhaven District Memorial Hospital.
One of the things I love about living on the beautiful South Coast is the generosity and selfless nature of our community members. This event was a wonderful reminder of what the community can do when we come together in the name of a good cause and for a bit of fun.
Next year will be the 70th year that the Greenwell Point Hospital Auxiliary has been raising funds for the Shoalhaven hospital, and I was privileged to be able to spend an evening celebrating their hard work and raising money for a great cause.
The availability of health services in regional and rural areas is an important issue to many people. Without the availability of equipment through the generosity of others, such as the Greenwell Point Hospital Auxiliary and the Shoalhaven Community Choir, local residents would be forced to travel long distances to Wollongong, Canberra or Sydney.
I understand that the hospital provides a wish list of equipment to the group, including such things as a bladder scanner which we were raising funds for on Saturday night. We were also raising funds for neonatal monitors, other monitors, iPads for occupational therapy and speech therapy units, sofa beds and a syringe driver for the medical ward. These have helped both staff and patients with the treatment and care both in the hospital and at home—helping relatives to stay overnight, care for patients in palliative care with pain management and comfort, and helping to build on the recovery of patients.
During the evening we were entertained by the wonderful combined choirs of the Shoalhaven Community Choir and Sing Australia Vincentia. We also enjoyed the local talents Catie Halliday, Olivia Corish, Leanne and Anthony, and Peter Bishop. We sang and danced the night away, all in an effort to provide some much needed new equipment for the hospital. It was humbling to see such a strong show of support for this fantastic local cause with around 150 people attending the event to help raise an initial estimate of $10,000.
As patron of Shoalhaven Community Choir I am always proud to support the fantastic work they do in our community. It is an added bonus to be able to experience their wonderful musical talents at local events all in the name of a good cause.
I would like to give a special thanks to the Director of the Shoalhaven Community Choir, Suzanne Hammond-Warne, for organising the evening along with auxiliary vice president, Diana Metcalf and Secretary, Donna Swan. Thank you for inviting me to enjoy this wonderful night with you and for your ongoing selfless efforts to provide for those in our community who are less fortunate.