Mr ALISTER HENSKENS (Ku-ring-gai) [4.57 p.m.]: Since my childhood I have always had a passion for and love of the arts, in all their various forms. While any small talent I may have, if at all, is restricted to music, I hold an incredible admiration for those in the visual arts—in particular, our painters. So I was honoured when I was asked to be a guest at the annual Ku-ring-gai Art Society awards last month. This year held significance for this organisation because the awards night at St Ives Shopping Village recognised its golden jubilee, its fiftieth anniversary. So successful was this year's gallery showing, a staggering 84 paintings sold for a total of $54,417—that is about $650 on average for each work.
Today I acknowledge the stewardship and hard work of Ku-ring-gai Art Society President Malcolm Carver and congratulate the main prize winners: Rebecca Gray, who took out the grand prize of $1,000, sponsored by Bendigo Bank; and Louise Surman, who was awarded the golden jubilee $2,000 cash prize and best in show trophy. Exhibition judges Alan Somerville and Judith White had a very tough job choosing the winners. I am simply glad I was not asked to do it.