Local Woman of the Year
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A huge congratulations goes out to the 2020 Local Woman of the Year for the Orange electorate, Mrs Rhonda Watt of Cumnock.
A more worthy recipient of this annual award you'll not find. Rhonda has contributed significantly to her community of Cumnock and the surrounding district for decades. Rhonda's passion, energy and community spirit is appreciated by the entire community.
It was great to see the community come along for the presentation and join in the celebratory BBQ lunch afterwards, including Rhonda's daughter Joanna.
A special mention to 2019 Local Woman of the Year, Mrs Betty Somers of Parkes, who attended the presentation to congratulate Rhonda.
Parkes Christian School
Recently I visited the Parkes Christian School where students participated in the Smashed Project, an education package that utilises live theatre and multimedia to engage students in a fun and unique way. Delivered by visiting entertaining educators from the organisation Gibber, this interactive program raises awareness of alcohol abuse, much of which begins at young age due to peer pressure.
It was a great show and I applaud Principal Glen Westcott for taking the initiative to help educate and raise awareness with his students in such an immersive and forward-thinking way.
And please share around a bit of extra kindness when you have to go to the stores!- Phil Donato
Maternity Forum Postponed
As mentioned in Tuesday's edition of the Parkes Champion Post, the community forum on local maternity issues which I had planned to host on Sunday March 22 at the Parkes Services Club has now been postponed.
It is unfortunate the event could not proceed as it's such an important issue which is a priority to myself and many members of the community. However, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it's a requirement that we avoid non-essential public gatherings and mitigate any potential risk.
Please rest assured that I am maintaining communications with Forbes and Parkes Shire Councils, the Western NSW Local Health District and the Health Minister on this issue. I will advise everyone of the new date for the forum in due course.
Understandably, many members of the community are concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic. Note that for most people the virus will not be severe, however it's important to reduce the spread in order to protect our most vulnerable citizens, and also to not overload the public health system.
The most recent update at the time I'm writing this column is that non-essential gatherings have been reduced to 100 people (previously 500) and non-essential travel is not recommended.
The number for further information is 1800 022 222. If you are feeling overwhelmed and are having difficulties coping during this time please contact your GP, a friend or family member, or a support service such as:
And please share around a bit of extra kindness when you have to go to the stores! A friendly smile can change someone's day for the better.
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