Oct 20, 2014

Statements by Members – South Sydney Rabbitohs

Federation Chamber

Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler) (16:27): Two weeks ago, I went with my son to see South Sydney win their 21st premiership—a 30-to-six victory over Canterbury Bankstown. It was a special celebration, particularly for all the people who campaigned for South Sydney’s right to play—the 80,000 people who marched in the streets of Sydney to declare that football was not just about sport; it was about community identity and a sense of belonging. It was a great night. I got to go with my friend, the chairman, Nick Pappas, and former board members. I was on the board during the period in which we were excluded from the competition. There was Andrew Denton, Ray Martin, Nick Hatzistergos and other members of the South Sydney family. I also had a chat with the Burrow—salt of the earth people for whom that victory, particularly for the Indigenous community based in the South Sydney area, was so important. To watch John Sutton’s leadership, Sam Burgess’s courage and Greg Inglis’s skill, capped off with him doing the goanna after the last try, was a great evening indeed. It was great that it was versus Canterbury, also a club based in their local community. The leadership of Michael Maguire, Souths’ coach, and Shane Richardson, the CEO, has made this possible. I am sure that the 22nd premiership is not far away.