Thursday 14 July 2011
Hansard of the Legislative Council


Mr FINCH (Rosevears)) - Madam President, in setting up my presentation today I want to recall a story about Allan Jeans, the football coach from St Kilda and Hawthorn, who passed away this week. I remember a function some years ago hosting the North Launceston and South Launceston football clubs combined and they had Allan Jeans as a guest speaker. He stood up and, being a very self-effacing, very quiet man, he said, 'I feel a bit like Elizabeth Taylor's tenth husband on the wedding night. I know what to do but how do I make it interesting?' Immediately, he had engaged his audience and, as you know, he was a famous Australian who worked with young people as a police officer and also as a football coach and he will be remembered for that.
I want to talk about young people and young Tasmanians who have tried to realise their dreams, whether it is in football or in other sports. If their dreams are anything out of the norm it is very hard but if you want to make your way into something entirely different it is a very different situation, particularly if you want to excel. You need exceptional drive, you need exceptional ambition, you need a lot of luck but you also need support from your family and others. We can take the recent case of Daniel Geale who had a burning desire to excel in his chosen sport of boxing, he had his family who helped get him started and he had a few who recognised his talent and gave him that support. There are others like Daniel Geale. Some make it but most are forced to give up.
I want to talk about Callum Mitchell, who lives in my electorate of Rosevears with his family, at Legana. He has a very supportive family, Mark and Sonia. Callum wants a career in motor sport but he wants all the help he can get. He started racing karts about five years ago when he was 12 and since then he has attended every race meeting on the Tasmanian circuit and one or two in Victoria as well. In 2008 Callum received the president's award for juniors for the Launceston Kart Club. In 2009 he won the Launceston Kart Club Junior Club Best of Year Award. In his short period in kart racing, Callum progressed rapidly through the junior ranks to be one of the leading senior drivers in Tasmania by the end of 2010. Now he is Tasmania's only representative in the Australian Motor Sport Federation, AMSF, Rookie, Rising Star Program for 2011 where only the elite junior drivers from each State are nominated each year to fast track through various development programs to ensure that Australia maintains a healthy crop of emerging track stars.
Callum has graduated from karts. In his first race meetings in the Victoria Formula Ford Series, he managed fourth place in his first race at Phillip Island. He is determined to have a successful career in motor sport and his family is determined to help him.
Apart from the support of his family, he has to maintain sponsors. Motor sport is very expensive. It will cost about $130 000 per year. He understands that sponsorship is the only way the he will progress to a national level and ultimately to an international career. He certainly has a convincing argument for sponsorship. He argues that he has an advantage as a Tasmanian like Marcos Ambrose, Ricky Ponting, Daniel Geale, David Boon and others.
He, I know, has a rigorous gym training program, knowing that physical fitness is a big factor in success on the track and that gave him very good results just a couple of weekends ago. He had a practice session at Winton, north of Melbourne, and did 120 laps non-stop and performed very well. He heads next week to Melbourne's Sandown circuit to race in the formula Ford series.
Callum is an outstanding young man at 17 and he said:
'I have been fortunate to have the support and complete backing of my parents and the members of my extended family who also fully support me pursuing a career in motor sport.
I have outstanding support from Tasmanian motor sport identities like John Bowe, Greg Crick and Barry Oliver.'
He also has tremendous support from the karting fraternity at his home club and throughout Tasmania.
We may be a relatively small Tasmanian community but with the right support our young people may be able to achieve their ambitions, however high their aims, and I wish young Callum all the best.