I rise to speak about the celebration that I attended last Friday night, The Advertiser/Channel 7 Sports Star of the Year award, and also the new inductees into the South Australian Sporting Hall of Fame. I acknowledge that particular function was attended by the Hon. Carmel Zollo, the Leader of the Opposition (Isobel Redmond MP) and also the member for Chaffey (Mr Tim Whetstone MP). The Hon. Michael Wright from the other place represented the government and made a speech early in the evening.
It was a magnificent event, and I acknowledge The Advertiser/Channel 7 Sports Star of the Year winners. The Sports Star of the Year was Anna Meares, who has done an outstanding job in cycling; Junior Sports Star of the Year was Jay Dohnt*, from swimming; Team of the Year was the Southern Suns, representing hockey; Elite Sportsperson with a Disability was Kieran Modra, who has had an outstanding career in cycling; and the People’s Choice award was won by Nick Percat from motorsport.
On the evening, we were fortunate to witness the induction into the South Australian Sporting Hall of Fame of Mr Robert Haigh from hockey; Kerry Pottharst from beach volleyball; Ian Chappell, obviously, a former Australian cricket captain, for his services to cricket; Di Burge from athletics; Jane Crafter from golf; and Adrian Quist from tennis. The football legend Fos Williams was honoured, as was Dr Brian Sandow for his outstanding contribution to sports medicine, and we witnessed the elevation of Mr Barrie Robran to legend status. I am sure most members of the council would be well aware that Barrie is a very proud product of Whyalla and an outstanding North Adelaide Football Club champion—a three-time Magarey medal winner. He is an absolute gentleman and an ornament to the game.
I was fortunate to chat to Barrie last year, and Vern Schuppan, who was amongst the inaugural Hall of Fame inductees, and I was extremely proud of the fact that, last year, two of the 20 inductees were, in fact, products of Whyalla. The pride that went with watching Barrie elevated to legend status was absolutely sensational. I loved the story of a very humble Barrie Robran and his beginnings. He paid tribute to a legend in Whyalla, a gentleman by the name of Mick Vanvacas, whom I know quite well. Barrie, in his own humble way, talked about how Mick had an incredible influence on his career. I was thrilled to see Barrie elevated to legend status, and I doubt whether there is a finer gentleman who has been involved at that level in sport. He is an absolute champion.
While I am talking of sport, John Harnden from the SACA has just been awarded another position so will be leaving the services of the SACA. I must say that Mr Harnden, in all my dealings with him, conducted himself as an absolute gentleman. It will be no surprise to most members that I did not particularly agree with him on his stance, especially regarding Adelaide Oval, but he certainly conducted his side of the debate with honour.
I know that when various concerns were raised about the SACA vote Mr Harnden and, in fact, Ian McLachlan both went out of their way to organise a meeting for myself and Travis Moran, who was working with me at the time, with all the partners involved, and he went to great lengths to show the absolute probity that was taken with that vote. I thank Mr Harnden for that. He was not back in South Australia for long, and I certainly wish him well for his future career. I hope his successor can lift the SACA to greater heights.
*Jay Dohnt was in fact the winner of the Tanya Denver Award and Luke Saville, from tennis, was the Junior Sports Star of the Year. The record was corrected via a personal explanation on Thursday 24 November.