I ENJOYED spending two days at the Australian National Field Days last week.
It was great to see strong crowds and fine weather.
Cadia Valley Operations was an excellent choice as the feature exhibitor. The way mining interacts with agriculture is certainly a topical issue and I suspect that there are lessons other mines could learn from the way in which Cadia has developed its community relations.
I also enjoyed having a go at the mining simulator, although was told by TAFE trainer Jodie not to give up my day job after the loader I was piloting struck a retaining wall. Apparently this would have caused a major on-site inquiry.
Congratulations to Rob Armstrong and his hard working committee and volunteers for organising yet another outstanding field days.
Their work is often unheralded, but nevertheless much appreciated by the wider community. The economic lift the event gives the economy is significant.
Carer of the year
Last Friday I had the pleasant duty to present a young Orange woman with the award of carer of the year for the Orange electorate.
This young woman has cared for her husband for a period of 10 years and to hear their story was inspiring.
Life can at times be extraordinarily difficult, but I am full of admiration for the way in which this young couple has supported each other, and is finding a way to get through.
Carers are unsung heroes of our community and it is important to recognise their efforts and the important role they play.
The Orange electorate's carer of the year is certainly very deserving.
I would like to recognise and thank all of our carers in Orange and the surrounding districts.
Although difficult and no doubt sometimes lonely, your work is certainly appreciated and valued.
Crystal Debutante Ball
Last Friday night I had the privilege of being master of ceremonies at the Crystal Debutante Ball.
It was a wonderful event, with guest of honour Olivia West delivering a very poignant address to the debutantes. Her message: "happiness is not the absence of problems but the ability to deal with them".
Congratulations to all of the debutantes and the organising committee on a truly memorable evening.