I rise to acknowledge the Darebin Parklands Association (DPA) and its commitment to improving public awareness and understanding of the natural and cultural significance of the parks that surround the Darebin Creek. I was pleased to attend the Darebin Parklands Association’s annual family picnic races day, which was held on Sunday, 20 March, to present awards to the picnic race participants; 150 people participated in the annual family and picnic day, including helping with the races, which had participants of all ages.
The Darebin Parklands Association is a community group founded in 1973 — a good year — with the purpose of preserving Rockbeare Park. The association was instrumental in establishing the 6-hectare park that now links the Darebin Creek with Rockbeare Park.
The park and Darebin Creek form the western boundary of my electorate of Ivanhoe. The DPA consists of volunteers who hold regular working bees, clean-ups and planting days along the creek. I attended some of these sessions last year, and they are hard work but good fun. I was pleased to hear that nearly 20 new members joined the DPA at the family picnic races day, and I commend them on that decision.
I also note that the DPA is publishing a book this year on the history of the parklands, which is a great achievement and one which we are all looking forward to seeing soon. I not only acknowledge the work of this great group of volunteers but also commend Carina Watson and the DPA committee for their commitment, effort and time in organising this very successful family picnic races day to promote the park and get more people involved in protecting and advocating for the parklands.