Thursday 24 September 2015
Hansard of the Legislative Council
Special Interest




Mr FINCH (Rosevears)- Mr President, from time to time, you and other honourable members have noticed and been gratified by young achievers in your electorates.  It is important to acknowledge and encourage them in their endeavours.

Two young Tasmanians with widely differing talents are two recent achievers in my electorate of Rosevears.  One is singer-songwriter Lucie Thorne, who grew up in the southern end of Rosevears in West Launceston.  The other is Jake Birtwhistle, who last week became the World Under‑23 Triathlon Champion.

Lucie Thorne toured Tasmania just a few weeks ago as part of a national tour to promote her latest CD, called Everything Sings Tonight.  It is Lucie's seventh CD.  She left West Launceston a few years ago and now lives in a small flat in the Melbourne suburb of Pascoe Vale when she is not touring.  Before that, she spent eight years living in a shack on the New South Wales south coast.  An article in the Melbourne Age on Lucie and her music a few months ago had the headline, Songs of Poetic Poignancy'.  The writer, Chris Johnson, said:

She is heavily into lyrics and literature and the textures of language.  The way all this bumps up against the evocative music makes it something to behold.  But she says she barely writes any words other than for songs, despite being raised by a poet. 

That poet is Tim Thorne.  It is fair to say Lucie has been heavily influenced by dad.  Lucie's father likes her lyrics and says she has a poetic sensibility.  She travels widely.  Her latest album was part recorded in Berlin, some in Iowa City, in Sydney, in Tasmania, and on the road in Canada and America.  Apart from selling in record shops, her CDs sell on the recording company's website and also from Lucie's own personal website, cutting out the middlemen and women.

The other young achiever from my electorate, Jake Birtwhistle, has just won the World Under‑23 Triathlon title.  That was despite a torn hamstring.  It must have been a fantastic race.  He was able to sprint away in the final kilometre in Chicago.  Jake is only 20.  He damaged his hamstring in training a week before the Chicago event, but worked on it with his physiotherapist Dean Sullivan.  Dean is right up there in Jake's estimation now, because he underwent a very intensive course of resting, icing, massage and special exercises.  As you can tell, it certainly paid off.  His next challenge is to try for a spot in the Rio Olympic Games. 

Jake has been representing Tasmania in sport since he was 11 years old, when he first made the state cross‑country team.  His first national medals came at 14, when he won a silver in triathlon and two golds and a silver in athletics.  On leaving school at 18, he decided to concentrate on triathlon full-time and proceeded then to win a World Junior Duathlon title, and managed to be runner‑up in the World Junior Triathlon Championships in 2014.

This year saw Jake step up to race most of the season in the elite senior ranks, where he managed to become the Australian Olympic distance champion, the Australian sprint distance champion, the Oceania Olympic distance champion, and the Oceania sprint champion.  In only his second World Cup, he managed to win a silver medal.  From this exceptional season start, his world ranking was high enough to allow him to be selected to start in the World Triathlon Series of races, at the top level of the International Triathlon Union racing series worldwide.  It has now taken him one more step towards his long‑term goal of becoming an Olympic champion.

It is only coincidence that Lucie Thorne and Jake Birtwhistle both grew up in my electorate.  I have nothing to do with it.  But I am still allowed to be very proud of their achievements.  Well done to Lucie and Jake