News Parliament

CONSTITUENCY STATEMENT - LIGHT THE NIGHT

I wish to draw the attention of the House to the fact that, last Friday night, the Orange community came together in Cook Park to unite in hope and raise funds to support families with blood cancer at the Leukaemia Foundation's Light the Night. Now in its ninth year, Light the Night aims to raise $2 million to fund blood cancer research and support for families affected by the disease and related blood disorders. Light the Night is the annual fundraising walk, and I was honoured to participate as MC for this year's event. It was a great event, with the community coming together as we walked around the historic Cook Park in Orange, carrying one of three coloured lanterns: gold to remember a loved one, white for their own blood cancer journey, or blue to support others.

The event was hosted by Olivia West, with support from dedicated committee members including Emily Swift, Susannah Perkins, Amorette Zelinski, Anna Derham and Ed Swift. It was a night for families to come together and share stories and support. The event was sponsored by local business including Printhie Wines; Coates Hire, Orange; Southern Cross Austereo; and MacHire, Orange. Entertainment was provided by Stepping Out Dance Factory—and the young men and women did a fantastic job; Ben McGarity, a great entertainer; and rising musical star, Olivia Mirrington. The Rapid Relief Team provided refreshments, with 100 per cent of their profit going to the Leukaemia Foundation. With numbers still being tallied up, it looks like the event raised nearly $10,000. This is a great outcome for a regional event and a testament to the generosity of our local community.

The Leukaemia Foundation was formed in 1975. It is Australia's peak body for blood cancer, funding research and providing free services to support people with leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma and related blood disorders, and their families. It provides services, at no charge, to patients and families right across the country in metropolitan areas but also, significantly, in regional areas. Every two hours someone in Australia will lose their life to blood cancer. Another 35 Australians are diagnosed every single day. Events such as Light the Night aim to bring communities together and provide hope. Every $100 raised can cover the cost of giving one family immediate emotional support, and also one hour of blood cancer research.

Last Friday night was a tremendous community event in Orange. It was a demonstration from our community that if you are suffering from blood cancer, or if you are caring for someone who is, then you do not have to walk alone.