Federation Chamber, Parliament of Australia
Monday, 18 September, 2018
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Bankstown is the heart of my electorate and Bankstown Sports Club is the heart of Bankstown.
And this year it turns 60.
In February of 1958, Bankstown District Cricket Association got together with a number of other sporting associations in the area and set up Bankstown Sports club.
And to be a member of the club you had to qualify in two regards. First you had to be a bloke, and second you had to play sport.
They purchased a local block of land in Bankstown at number 8 Greenfield Parade, which was at that point an old Latter Day Saints Hall and a consecrated church - and the club was off and running.
The baptismal font apparently was a handy esky at the time.
A lot has changed in the last 60 years.
Bankstown Sports Club is still on the same site but it now takes up the whole block.
It’s no longer a club for just a couple of hundred blokes.
There are 70,000 people who are members now of Bankstown Sport club.
It’s one of the biggest clubs in Australia.
I said earlier that it’s the heart of my community.
It’s a place where a lot of people go in Bankstown for a feed and a good night out.
It’s the place where Paul Keating went to celebrate the sweetest victory of all – his famous True
Believer speech that none of us on this side of the House will ever forget.
And it’s a place where local charities and local community organisations go to when they need help.
Because it helps fund local aged care centres.
It purchases equipment for local schools and child care centres.
It purchases medical equipment for Bankstown Hospital.
It helps local disability groups.
And helps to fund more than 40 local sporting clubs in Bankstown.
In those 60 years it’s only had three CEOs. Emile McDonald ran the club for 22 years. John McKay who ran it for 31 years. And now the boss is Mark Condi.
Mark’s only been in the job for about 6 years, but he’s worked at Bankstown Sports Club for 25. He started back 25 years ago picking up glasses and cleaning tables.
Can I use this time to also give the Board a wrap.
Led by John Murray - and his predecessor the late great Kevin McCormick OAM.
A great man and a great mate by the way of Paul Keating’s father, Matt Keating.
Can I thank the staff and everybody who has worked at Bankstown Sports Club over the years and helped to make it what it is. Which is a fantastic community asset – a real community club.
I wish everybody involved a happy 60th birthday and many, many years to come.
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