Tuesday 16 May, 2023

Mr TARZIA (Hartley) (15:24): Today, I rise to speak about a farewell service I recently attended for Reverend Canon Mara Di Francesco. We recently gathered for what was quite a bittersweet service as we said farewell to Reverend Canon Mara Di Francesco. Mara has been a vital part of our community in Campbelltown for many years and it is certainly difficult to imagine St Martin's Anglican Church Campbelltown without her very significant leadership.

We were joined by a number of dignitaries that morning. I certainly would like to thank Mara personally for her extensive service to the church and also to our community. She was ordained in 1995 and ascended to rectorship at St Martin's in Campbelltown in late 2000 where she has been a very significant beacon for the community ever since. Her ministry at St Martin's has provided multiple generations within the Campbelltown community with the ability to learn but also endure their faith as well.

Being part of St Benedict's Monastery, Mara is no stranger to the Christian presence in the world today through prayer, service and community and has been known for her high-energy approach to ministry and also defined by her strong leadership, her vision and of course her very cheeky sense of humour. What better way to reflect on Reverend Canon Mara's rectorship than by looking to the important role St Martin's plays within our community.

That community serves in a number of ways, from food and backpacks for homeless youths to care packages for women's shelters. The good the congregation does for our community cannot be understated. As Mara moves on to her next endeavour, whatever it may be, I think it is important for all of us to consider sowing the same seeds of goodness within our community as she has during her tenure at St Martin's. We wish her all the very best for the next part of her life's journey.

I also wish to speak about the Campbelltown Art Show and Sale, which ran from 6 May to 13 May and featured many paintings, pottery, porcelain pieces, photography, youth pieces and also Aboriginal and Islander people's art. There were demonstrations by well-known artists throughout that time. I attended on the evening of the start of the show.

The Campbelltown Rotary art show celebrated 40 years of great art but was also a fantastic opportunity for local artists to showcase their work. The show highlights the arts in Campbelltown every single year. There are various traditions—painting, photography, pottery, porcelain—that offer everything to delight but also inspire visitors not only from Campbelltown but across metropolitan Adelaide and beyond. These artistic demonstrations are an exceptional way to learn more about the skills but also the techniques of the various modes and forms.

Thank you to the Rotary Club of Campbelltown. I would like to thank Michael McCabe, the 2022-23 President of the Rotary Club of Campbelltown. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the artists involved, as well as Margaret Beare, who was the convener this year. I would like to thank the Campbelltown City Council for their significant assistance as well, and of course all the sponsors who assist in putting the art show together, such as the Neale family of Paradise Mazda, who sponsor not only this event but many events throughout the Campbelltown area. Thank you to those sponsors who continue to be generous supporters of the show, with a particular mention, as I said, to Jennifer and Jeff Neale of Paradise Mazda for their substantial contribution.

We know that a lot of planning and work are required within the Rotary Club of Campbelltown to make this event run as smoothly as it does, and it does not just happen, so thank you sincerely again to Margaret Beare, who was the art show convener, for all the hours that she contributed towards making that show such a success. I would also like to thank the many Rotarians and partners of Rotarians who helped put on that event and congratulate all the artists on submitting their works and those who won prizes. Congratulations on your amazing creative achievements. I will end with a quote pointed out by Michael McCabe. As Pablo Picasso said, 'The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.'