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The Allambee Club April Luncheon, Yass, NSW [Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley]

Good afternoon, ladies.

I want to begin by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Ngunnawal People, and pay my respects to their elders, past and present, and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders gathered here today.

It is good to finally attend an Allambee Club luncheon. I had hoped to have visited the Club before this, but our busy schedules and the pandemic in particular have made it difficult to do so. I’m really looking forward to meeting all of you and hearing more about The Allambee Club.

I was delighted to receive an invitation from your President, Jo-Ann Strong, to be Patron of The Allambee Club. I am a supporter of friendship clubs and know how important they are to people’s health and wellbeing and how they help build strong communities.

This group of women doesn’t need reminding of the benefits of being a member of The Allambee Club. Having a welcoming place to come to and being able to stay connected is very special. Many Australians I think, in light of the challenges of the past 12 to 18 months, have a newfound appreciation of the importance of community and social connections.

David and I meet many Australians who have been impacted by drought, flood, bushfire and COVID-19. I suspect some of you here today have had a terrible time with drought. I hope the recent rains are a sign of better times ahead.

Some of the people we have met during our visits have lost everything but the clothes on their back. For others, some of whom we met last week in Gippsland, the Hawkesbury region and Taree, the emotional scars of natural disaster run deep. But the one thing that David and I keep hearing wherever we visit is the amazing strength that exists in our communities and how even small acts of kindness can make a world of difference to people’s lives. Being kind is, I think, one of the best things you can do.

You’ll find kindness, compassion, friendship, respect and support in The Allambee Club – not just in tough times but all of the time. The Club has been a welcoming place for women from Yass and the surrounding region for almost 100 years – a place to take some time-out from the busy-ness of life and to meet friends.

It’s also a place where you can relax, share how you’re going, or perhaps share the challenges of running a property or business. Alternatively, the Club is a place where you might hear a guest speaker who inspires you or participate in a workshop that you enjoy. Whatever the reason, The Allambee Club is a club that brings women together and provides a forum for positive interactions.

It’s a club for which I am proud to be Patron.

Thank you.