Member for Western Victoria
Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party

Mark West Foundation Members Statement

GRIMLEY (Western Victoria) (16:21:22): I rise today to congratulate and encourage a local Geelong charity, the Mark West Foundation. Over 100 kids annually are given an opportunity to play sport in circumstances where they otherwise may not have been able to. They may be struggling financially, they may have had parents or family members pass away or they may have been through horrible incidents which have left them unmotivated and disinterested. I had the pleasure of meeting Mark’s brother Paul and Mark’s childhood best friend and now foundation board member Tom Harriott.

Their enthusiasm for creating equality in Geelong is incredible. The motivation behind the five-year-old charity is not just to give a pair of brand-new footy boots to and pay registration for each child, but to encourage kids to be part of the community, surrounded by support, and to play sport, which we all know has endless positive effects on us, especially young people. Paul is carrying on his brother’s legacy after a freak on-field footy accident on Anzac Day 1998, which killed him instantly in a tackle whilst playing for the Newtown and Chilwell Football Club. Over 25 per cent of the sponsorship recipients are now female—a testament to the great work being done by community sports leaders to encourage young ladies to give footy a go. Last year three of the best and fairest winners in junior sides in the Geelong region were sponsorship recipients. Congratulations to Paul, Tom and Mark’s family and friends. I look forward to being updated on your next milestones and to doing whatever I can to ensure the continuation of the thriving Mark West Foundation.


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