Mr RAMSEY (Grey—Government Whip) (11:22): They were good remarks from the other side. I thank the member for them. This speech probably should have been given last week because, unfortunately, last week in the netball our Australian Diamonds were defeated by one goal by the Silver Ferns—one miserable goal. Maxwell Smart would say, ‘I missed it by that much.’ That is a tough way to lose a final. Let me tell them how proud we are of them. I’ll come back to the Diamonds in just a moment. Perhaps there was a little justice in that, given, New Zealand’s men’s cricket team had lost the men’s Cricket World Cup on a countback. I don’t think any of us who watch cricket actually realised what a countback was! But that’s what happened.
Australia has a small population, but there is no doubt that we punch above our weight when it comes to sport. Like all, I celebrate our male athletes and competitors, but at this point in time I reckon it would be fair to say they are being eclipsed by their female counterparts. How proud we all are of Ash Barty, the world’s No. 1 female tennis player and French Open champion—and what a gracious champion she is. She is, indeed, someone of whom we can all be justifiably proud. I wish her—as I am sure everyone in this place and everyone in Australia does—more success. But let me say this: Ash, you have already achieved so much and brought such joy to the hearts of Australians.
We marvel at the achievements of some of our other prominent sportswomen. Hannah Green just won the 2019 Women’s PGA Championship. Sally Fitzgibbons is the world No. 1 surfer. There’s Ellyse Perry at the Women’s Cricket World Cup. And, boy, what about Meg Lanning’s 133 not out off 63 balls, breaking her previous world record for T20 cricket? To paraphrase our Prime Minister: how good are they? It’s a wonderful time and we should be proud of them.
But I want to come back to the Diamonds. They probably weren’t celebrating as hard as perhaps they should have last week, having lost that World Cup by just a single point. We send our commiserations. But they should celebrate because they were in the World Cup final. They were all but the World Cup victors; it will make them go harder next time, I know. But we are all incredibly proud of them.
There is one particular person in that Diamond’s line up that I want to focus on today, a young defender called Sarah Klau. Sarah Klau plays for the NSW Swifts, but she comes from Yorketown on Yorke Peninsula, in my electorate of Grey. She is the only South Australian product in the Diamond’s line up at this time. I might add that Jenny Kennett, a former captain of that team, came from Cummins on the Eyre Peninsula, not so far away from where I live. But Sarah is our girl at the moment. That in itself is a cause for Yorketown to celebrate. We always celebrate when we have our own people rise to international success.
But we have an even greater reason to celebrate Sarah’s success, because she was diagnosed as having type 1 diabetes within the last 12 months. It’s tough enough to get into the Diamonds when you’re fit and healthy, but when you’ve actually got type 1 diabetes and have to deal with that on a constant basis—you can imagine that; if you’re an athlete you have to monitor your body at probably a far higher frequency than the rest of us would.
It’s no secret that the member for Moreton and I are the co-chairs of the Australian Parliamentary Friends of Diabetes, the oldest ‘friends of’ group in this parliament. It was founded by Judi Moylan, I think back in 2002. The member for Moreton and I have renamed it: we are the parliamentary enemies of diabetes. We don’t particularly want to be friends of diabetes! But I am immensely proud of what the government has done in this place, with clinical trials, constant glucose monitors and a raft of other things that have made life for diabetics that much better. Certainly, there is the money we are investing in research.
One of our jobs is to invigorate people to pump up their tyres so that they’re up to the challenge of meeting diabetes type 1 or type 2 head-on, to take it on and to say, ‘I’m going to manage my life so that I can manage my ailment.’ We’ll do our best to inspire people, but we’ll be a pale shadow of what someone like Sarah Klau can do. What she sends as a message to everybody suffering from diabetes is that you can succeed; you can manage your ailment. You can manage this disease and you can excel at whatever you choose to do. I know that for some people it becomes a burden, but I thank her and congratulate her for her efforts.