Wednesday, 14 March 2018
SIX brave Moree couples tangoed their way onto the floor of Parliament, with Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall commending the talent shown at the successful ‘Dancing with the Stars’ in a Private Member’s Statement yesterday.
340 locals attended the glamourous sell-out event on Saturday night, raising more than $80,000 to support renowned Moree employer Gwydir Industries.
Mr Marshall’s speech immortalised the local couples’ dance routines and drop crotches – describing the sell-out community fundraiser as an ‘inspiring’ night of fun dance routines and crowd-stopping performances.
“The Dancing with the Stars event on Saturday night was not like the one we see on television,” Mr Marshal told his parliamentary colleagues.
“It was the real deal – bush dancing with the stars. The event brought together real people, great judges and a magnificent local cause. There is no better combination.
“The tickets to the event sold out in 20 minutes. After being there on Saturday night, I could see why, as could anyone else who was there.”
Mr Marshall judged the routines alongside famed Aussie pop icon John Paul Young and returning dancing star Vanessa Parkes.
The local MP said the twelve dancers gave “elegant”, “passionate” and “fiery” performances – with the audience wowed by routines including a tango, paso doble, and risqué Footloose performance.
Funds raised from the event will go into the purchase of a new engraving machine – an essential investment to support Gwydir Industries’ popular trophy business.
Mr Marshall donated a parliamentary dinner that sold for nearly $3,500, with for 500 hectares of contract farming with Oodnadatta Farming hitting an incredible $25,000.
“Organisations such as Gwydir Industries are the backbone, heart and soul of country communities,” Mr Marshall said.
“The passion, tears and hard work that go into events such as Dancing with the Stars is something from which we can all learn and be inspired by – people power, friendship and teamwork are the essence and the answer to success.”
MEDIA: Will Kelly 0447 386 645
Mr ADAM MARSHALL (Northern Tablelands – Minister for Tourism and Major Events and Assistant Minister for Skills) (12:35): On 23 October 1963, an organisation was formed in Moree initially called Gwydir Handicapped Children’s Association and which is known today as Gwydir Industries. Gwydir Industries is not just any kind of business. It was formed as an Australian disability enterprise that provides training and support to people with a disability in the local Moree area. I take great pleasure in spruiking about Gwydir Industries and its incredible event, which was enjoyed by 340 guests, including myself, at the Moree Memorial Hall on Saturday night. The tickets to the event sold out in 20 minutes. After being there on Saturday night, I could see why, as could anyone else who was there.
Every two years, a group of Moree locals, the Gwydir Industries board and others band together to raise funds for ongoing upgrades to enhance the viability and safety of Gwydir Industries and its staff and the amazing activities they undertake on behalf of the community. The organisation is located in an old building which continually needs improvements. This year’s fundraiser will enable the purchase of a new engraving machine, as the trophy business is critical to the viability of Gwydir Industries. The Dancing with the Stars event on Saturday night was not like the one we see on television. It was the real deal – bush dancing with the stars. The event brought together real people, great judges and a magnificent local cause. There is no better combination.
The evening kicked off with the arrival of a surprise guest and mystery judge, the well‑known Australian pop singer John Paul Young, who performed a crowd-stopping rendition of Love is in the Air. He was then joined on stage by Gwydir Industries clients Jillian Campbell and Adam Love, who stole the show with their dance to John Paul Young’s hit Yesterday’s Hero. On the night, the two songs became known as the ‘Barnaby set’. We raised a toast to the now departed Anthony ‘Dipper’ Diprose, a shining light of Dancing with the Stars and magnificent community servant, who sadly passed away last year. Six local couples took to the stage to show off their newly learned skills and entertaining routines. I was lucky enough to be one of the three judges, alongside John Paul Young and a past Dancing with the Stars participant Vanessa Parkes.
Jordan Barratt and Paige Miller got the competition underway with an elegant dance, setting a high standard of expectation for the evening ahead. Donny and Amanda Mealing, who were up next, performed a sultry tango in a red light scene, which one could imagine seeing in Amsterdam. Mark Cotter and Della Barnes wowed the crowd with tequila shots, fishnets, bling and drop-crotch pants, bringing back the 1990s in style. Greg and Rachel Bell cut loose on the dance floor with a risqué performance to Foot Loose that featured pelvic thrusts, plenty of kicks, sparkles and great expressions. Byron Birch and Kendall Tait gave a fiery, fun and flirtatious performance to Candyman and received the first and only perfect 10 out of 10 score on the night. The closing performance was from Oscar and Susannah Pearse, who fooled the audience into thinking they were doing a country dance, which started with the crack of Oscar’s whip, but it turned into a passionate paso doble. As I said on the night, it was the best paso doble I had ever seen, and also the first.
The judges’ award was taken out by Byron Birch and Kendall Tait, while the people’s choice award was presented to Mark Cotter and Della Barnes for their tequila-laden dancing performance. The fun continued into the evening with a magnificent charity auction. Seventeen lots were auctioned, including an incredible donation of 500 hectares of contract farming and spraying from Oodnadatta Farming, selling for more than $25,000. Ian Reardon’s painting of Alice Springs was a favourite. I donated a parliamentary dinner which sold for nearly $3,500. The lucky raffle winners of the Holden Barina Spark were the Carroll family. There were many other raffle items distributed amongst guests.
While figures are still being calculated, I am happy to report to the House that the evening was the most successful Dancing with the Stars to date, raising in excess of $80,000. I commend the President of Gwydir Industries, and emcee of the evening, Peter Weal, and his board for this remarkable effort. I acknowledge Eric Carrigan, a stalwart of that organisation from the beginning. He is retiring as a board member after many years of dedicated service. Organisations such as Gwydir Industries are the backbone, heart and soul of country communities. The passion, tears and hard work that go into events such as Dancing with the Stars is something from which we can all learn and be inspired by – people power, friendship and teamwork are the essence and the answer to success.