Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler) (16:01): On Saturday 23 May, it was my pleasure to be at the celebration of 40 years of the existence for the Ella Centre in Haberfield. This centre undertakes extraordinary work on behalf of some of the most disadvantaged people in the inner west. It was my great honour to speak about the Ella Centre’s commitment to taking care of some of the most vulnerable in our community. It was good to welcome the new chief executive officer, Philip Coller, and to be in the presence of the board, including the chair, David Pigott.
The Ella Centre was once the Methodist church in Haberfield. It opened its doors as a community centre in 1974. It received set-up funding from the Whitlam government and later a very generous donation from Henry Ella, which helped create a trust fund. Since then, the Ella Centre’s passion for social justice has ensured support for people with disabilities, dementia, older people and carers—as well as for those simply struggling to get by. The Ella Centre continues to make a significant difference in the everyday lives of people across the inner west. It has played a historic role in our community and is a constant reminder that, when we look out for each other, everyone benefits.
This is a community based organisation that is embedded in the local community of Haberfield. People from all walks of life were at this function in Haberfield in order to pay tribute and make a contribution towards the future activity of the Ella Centre. People made donations for specific purposes, including providing support for people with disabilities. I congratulate the Ella Centre for its tireless work over the last 40 years and I wish those at the centre all the best for the many years to come.
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.