25th May 2023
Mr GREG PIPER (Lake Macquarie)—I'd like to acknowledge the efforts of Astrid Hocking from Kilaben Bay who goes to extraordinary lengths to protect children. Astrid is the chairperson of Lake Macquarie charity Hearts and Hands Community Development. I had the pleasure of recently meeting Astrid and some of her volunteer team. We discussed their Umbrella Hearts campaign which spreads the message "It's not ok to hurt a child, every day it's not OK" across communities. Astrid is aligned with numerous charities and organisations and has been a strong advocate for the rights of children and foster carers since the 1980s. She has personally cared for more than 90 children over the years. Her core belief is that it's society's responsibility to take care of the most vulnerable, including children, victims of domestic abuse, the homeless and those with disabilities. Her ongoing advocacy recently saw her become an Australia Day Ambassador and a finalist for NSW Senior of the Year award. She's also the recipient of a Service to the Community Award from Rotary, and received the Family of the Year for NSW award. I congratulate and thank Astrid for all she does in the local community.
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