MS TIERNEY (Minister for Training and Skills) — I rise to congratulate two very different high achievers in my electorate of Western Victoria Region. Henty’s Daniel Lutz, just 24 years old, is one of 12 young farmers from across Victoria to receive a government scholarship of up to $10 000. These scholarships go towards agricultural training and study in areas such as farming, business and financial literacy, risk management and product development. Daniel receives $5000 to support training and study and $5000 to invest in on-farm or professional development, putting new skills into practice. He has recently bought his first farm of 166 acres. He hopes, after upskilling himself through a series of locally run courses, to put his funds towards building a yard and ramp for his farm. In an era when young people have been moving away from farming, gravitating towards city careers, Daniel represents the future of agriculture — a $13.1 billion agriculture industry whose prosperity is vital to this state.
On another note, Vicki Jellie of Warrnambool is Australia’s Local Hero 2017, announced at the Australia Day awards. Vicki organised and united the community to work towards establishing the South West Regional Cancer Centre based on Peter’s Project, inspired by her late husband. Vicki and her team raised $5 million in just nine months and lobbied government determinedly, with the result that the centre opened last year in Warrnambool. They garnered support from all levels of government, all parties and the local community to resolve the hurdles faced by regional residents in accessing cancer treatment facilities. Vicki continues to contribute to her community as a staff member at South West TAFE.
I congratulate both Daniel and Vicki on their achievements and as inspiring exemplars in their communities.