Kim O’KEEFFE (Shepparton) (09:39): Today I rise to acknowledge Val Barrass, an extraordinary and much-loved woman in my community. At the age of 92 Val was recently acknowledged for her 80 years of association with and commitment to the Shepparton Netball Association as a player and volunteer umpire. Val has had many acknowledgements during that time. In 1958 Val was honoured with a life membership of the Shepparton Netball Association. She continued umpiring into her seventies and received a Netball Victoria distinction award in 2001 and a City of Greater Shepparton sports award in 2002. In May this year Shepparton Netball Association hosted a celebration to honour Val’s remarkable 80 years of commitment to the sport, which I was delighted to attend along with many others.
Val’s netball journey began when she was just 12 years of age, and at 92 years of age Val is still volunteering by working in the control box, which is named in her honour. Val has helped play a vital role in the development of the next generation of Shepparton netballers and is also proud to support players of all abilities. Val’s love for the sport and dedication to volunteering is truly inspiring, and 80 years of dedication to the sport must be a record. Val is truly one of the most wonderful, inspiring and remarkable women I have ever met. Congratulations, Val, on your amazing achievements.