MEMBERS STATEMENTS: Airport West Football Club

Mr CARROLL (Minister for Industry and Employment) (09:47:04) — ‘Extraordinary. Remarkable. Unthinkable’ — that is how the Moonee Valley Leader newspaper described the Airport West Football Club’s premiership win over Tullamarine in the Essendon District Football League division 1 grand final on Saturday, 8 September. It was a game for the history books. After trailing by 46 points at half‑time, Tullamarine made a comeback during the third quarter, booting 9 goals, 5 while holding Airport West scoreless to grab a six‑point lead at three‑quarter time. But coach Geoff Maddern’s men responded with the determination the club is known for, defeating Tullamarine 107 points to 94. It capped off a historic day at Windy Hill with the division 1 reserves also beating Taylors Lakes. Taking home one flag is wonderful; two flags is brilliant.

The celebrations continued back at the club and were a great prelude for the gala celebration night. I had the pleasure of attending and presenting Bior Malual with his best and fairest medal. Congratulations to Graeme Marr, awarded Best Club Person, and also congratulations to Rob Smith. I am proudly wearing the Airport West club tie today, Speaker, in the Parliament. Thank you, Rob, for your wonderful job as a football administrator.

Jesse McVeigh was elevated to life membership, richly deserved, joining his brother Ricky, who gave an outstanding speech on what the club means to him and his family. From president Pauline McShanag down, to the mums and dads in the junior teams, to Nick Murphy on social media and all the volunteers, this is a wonderful club that should be very proud. They should also be very proud, though, of what they do in NAIDOC Week every year. They are a leader in the community, a leader in the Essendon District Football League. They recognise our Indigenous Australians and the club helps make our local community even better.