Eight years ago, when I was elected to the Warringah council, I was approached by Rod and Liz Macqueen with the extraordinary vision of turning a vacant block on Collaroy Beach into a world-renowned resort for people living with spinal injury.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of so many people in the Collaroy Basin, including Rod and Liz Macqueen, David Hurley, Wendy Harmer, Alan Jones and Greg Pearce, who enabled the Lifetime Care & Support Authority to purchase the lands, this Friday, with my good friend the Premier of New South Wales, Mike Baird, I will be honoured to open Sargood on Collaroy.
In Australia, one person a day sustains a spinal cord injury. Most are young men aged between 15 and 24. The Sargood Foundation gives them an alternative to what can become a bleak reality.
It helps people with spinal injuries to get back into the workforce and back into their communities and gives them a chance to socialise with other people. It gives them a life. It gives them confidence. It gives them hope.
By providing training in vocational skills, health and education, Sargood on Collaroy will be a place for people living with a spinal injury to rest, recuperate and learn using the best insights and technologies we have available.
This place of healing is a true reflection of an entire community's passion and dedication. From local residents, health-care providers, clubs and businesses to all three tiers of government, everyone has got involved.