News Parliament


The Central West of New South Wales has a rich bushranging history, from Ben Hall to Jessie Hickman, who was known locally as the 'lady bushranger'. But tonight we celebrate the exploits of the latter day Lady Bushrangers, and I speak of course of the Bathurst Bushrangers AFL Club women's side, who have just claimed their second Central West AFL title, making it two in a row—a mighty effort from the Bushrangers.

As I said, it was their second title in a row, playing at Cowra's Mulyan Oval. It was a very close match—a tough encounter—but the Bushrangers triumphed 4-7-31 to 2-1-13 over a gallant Orange Tigerettes side. There is a great rivalry between those clubs. The Tigerettes fought very hard and they did the Orange community proud, but it was the Lady Bushrangers who prevailed.

I need to make special mention of all of those Lady Bushrangers in the side, including Taylor Armstrong; Lauren Barnett; Mikala Bringolf, who was named best on ground; Paige Cuy; Mariah Gilchrist; Isabella Giuliano; Abbey Hardie; Selina Harlum; Elise Hull; Monique Price; Courtney Pring; Jessica Rose; Jessica Scadding; Rachael Schumack; and also 'captain courageous', Kelsey Smith, who did a wonderful job. She kicked a major in the third quarter, along with Keeghan Tucker. I have to say that Keeghan Tucker was recently named the Central West AFL's best and fairest: 36 goals for the season, Mr Speaker—I know you are an AFL fan. She had two in the final and she has recently trialled with the Greater Western Sydney Giants. I can see you nodding in approval, Mr Speaker.

I also need to mention Sarah Stackman, Sophie Thrower, Sarah Weal, Victoria Weal, Hollie Whitla and Tori Whitla. I also need to mention the coach, Trevor Brown, who was effusive in his praise of the side—but obviously they are very well coached. And I also need to mention team manager, Helen Price, team physio, Helen Brown and also all the other support staff, including Sharron Stevens.

The Bathurst Bushrangers is a wonderful club, and I also need to make special mention of Graeme Grundy, who is the president; Brian Matheson, who is the vice president; Jo Howard, who is the secretary; David Flude, who is the treasurer; Simon Ross, who is the players representative; Tony Lewis, the registrar; Barry Fuller, the match day manager; and Helen Price, who is the social committee member.

Of course, we all wish Keeghan all the best in her efforts, not only for next season but also, hopefully, she will get a berth at the GWS Giants. We have the inaugural women's AFL competition about to launch next year, so this is a very exciting time for Keeghan and indeed for all women who are playing AFL, not only in the Central West but right around New South Wales and Australia.

I also just need to mention Bathurst Giants pair, Cooper Brien and Ben Cant, who took out the under-12s and 14s best and fairest awards at the recent Central West presentation. They did an excellent job there. I will also mention Bushrangers pair, Peter Grundy and Bill Watterson, who finished inside the top three for the senior best and fairest honour.

We have a wonderful sporting history and heritage out in the Central West of New South Wales, but we are all very proud of what the Lady Bushrangers have achieved. They are obviously a very tight unit, with two premierships in a row, and I believe that we are going to see great things from them next year.

I do not want to take anything away from the Orange side. There is always a tough competition between Orange and Bathurst in these local derbies, but this year it was the Lady Bushrangers who prevailed for the second year in a row. I would formally like to pass on the congratulations of this House, the Australian parliament, to the Bathurst Lady Bushrangers on a job well done for 2016.