Helen Hukins – Karonga P&C President
“I’d like to express our deep gratitude to Maxine McKew and the entire Bennelong Team for their tireless campaigning for Karonga Special School at Epping, where my daughter Kathleen attends. Karonga is a small and unique special school that caters for many children like my daughter with multiple physical and intellectual disabilities aged from 4-18. We have a very dedicated team of Teachers and staff led by Sue Dennett, an extraordinary Principal always advocating on our children’s behalf as does our small but dedicated team of committed parents on the P&C all from a very diverse multicultural and socio-economic background.
For the last three years Maxine and her team who share our passion and commitment to quality education for all, regardless of disability and disadvantage, have worked tirelessly on our behalf ensuring $3.5 million for a quality purpose-built upgrade of classrooms and teaching and learning facilities for our children and staff. This was aside from the BER monies allocated to Karonga. Because our children need one on one teaching to learn and many Teacher’s Aides, Physiotherapy, Speech Pathologists and Occupational Therapy and many complex computerized learning equipment and supports etc to meet the students needs, our school was only recognized for funding purposes on student numbers not their complex needs. As Maxine learnt first hand on her many visits meeting students, staff and parents what was necessary for our children to be educated and cared for with dignity. Maxine then went on to champion our cause on needs basis not just student numbers.
Without Maxine and the entire Bennelong Team’s constant lobbying and advocacy Karonga children would be missing out. Maxine seems to have endless energy and enthusiasm and is constantly seen out in this community listening to the concerns of her constituents and giving them a voice. Her commitment to those with disabilities, the aged and fragile, their families, carers is most evident, as is the Labor Government’s commitment to these causes.
Most importantly Maxine and her team deliver. Many thanks.”
George Tomo – Gladesville
“Sometimes words are not enough to express our feelings and appreciations. My wife and I would like to thank you for your support in our hopeless battle. We had to learn in costly way that hard work motivated by dreams can be shredded and destroyed easily.
In desperation after we have been let down by the traditional legal pathways, you pointed us in the good direction and gave us support, hope and encouragement. My wife and I are humbled to see that actually the famous “Australian fair go” does exist. Without your personal help we could not achieve the minister’s intervention. The tears of the ants cannot reach the top of the mountain without help.
We hope that shortly, we will have the “rights” and the freedom to express our opinion and support towards people and parties who are sharing the same values as I and my wife. As an expression of gratitude, we decided that our family will be a lifetime supporter of you and your party.”
Anne Doring - Eastwood Ryde Netball Association
“The Eastwood Ryde netballers are very grateful for everything that Maxine has done for us. It means a lot to our members that she personally contributes to our Umpire and Coach of the Month Program. We are also thrilled with the support and funding that she has helped to secure for the four new hard courts. She also provides good advice and guidance when needed.”
Paul Roach - Royal North Shore Hospital
“PET scanners are vital imaging devices that significantly improve the diagnosis and staging of many different types of cancer.
For over a decade, we tried to secure funding for a scanner at Royal North Shore Hospital, and while this quest has involved both sides of politics, I am really grateful for the key role that Maxine played over the last few years to bring the scanner to fruition. She has been a key advocate of this project and has played a pivotal role in guiding it through the political and bureaucratic process. She also secured a visit from the Prime Minister to officially unveil the scanner, which was a boost for the hospital’s staff and patients.
The PET scanner at RNSH is currently the only one in the Northern Sydney region and will directly benefit several thousand cancer patients each year.”
Andrew Bland - BlandsLaw
“Maxine has built a strong relationship with the local business community. She has been effective in facilitating an open dialogue between local business and the Government on a range of issues, particularly during the Global Financial Crisis. Maxine has also been at the forefront of promoting flexible work practices for small business.”
Gena Karpf, Owner - SWEETNESS the Patisserie, Epping
“Maxine McKew is a champion of small business in Bennelong. SWEETNESS The Patisserie opened in Epping in March 2009 and since that time, Maxine has shown her genuine interest and unfailing support of the growth of our business.”
Dr Lewis Rushbrook – Principal & CEO, Dunmore Lang College
“I invited Maxine McKew to be a Visiting Fellow of the College, not only because every MP needs ‘their college’ but because of her great empathy with university students. Although she comes ostensibly as ‘speaker’, within a few minutes that’s jettisoned and off she goes engaging with all and sundry on any topic with warmth, sensitivity and charisma – and without ducking the tough questions. It’s the very stuff for nurturing young leaders, one of our core goals.”
Frank Murray - Beecroft
“Whilst I am a diehard Liberal voter, I must offer the highest praise to Maxine McKew.
I and some of the residents, who lived behind Carlingford Court, requested her help re Hornsby Council’s Housing Strategy projected rezoning. Maxine organised and chaired a meeting between the Mayor, General Manager and Chief Planner and about nine residents. She listened attentively to both points of view and had both parties listen to the others viewpoint. Her intervention played a significant role in the ultimate decision to withdraw the rezoning. I believe she is not getting credit for the work she does as our Federal MP.
It would be remiss not to mention the input of State MP, Greg Smith, who organised John Alexander and two Senators to meet with the residents.
Two local C Ward Councillors Andrew Martin of the Greens as well as Independent and Deputy Mayor Robert Browne also listened attentively to the issues without conflicting their Council responsibilities.
Thanks must also go to the Northern District Times who gave every assistance in this organic protest by young and elderly residents whose whole life style was under threat by the rezoning proposal, I feel very happy for them.”
Anne Hargreaves - Beecroft
“On behalf of Carmel, I am writing to thank you for your input in attaining the bus seat on North Rocks and Kimberley Streets. We are most grateful.”
Nesha O’Neil - Director Top Ryde Learning
“Maxine has been a wonderful asset to Bennelong over the past 3 years. I’ve never seen a more hardworking politician. She’s honest, genuine and encouraging.
She has taken a personal interest in the success of my businesses, and been instrumental in me making connections to help the business to grow.
I’ve seen Maxine take ‘real life’ stories to senior politicians to challenge their beliefs, and help them understand how their policies impact hard working families and businesses. She’s ‘on our side’ when it comes to politics. Her enthusiasm for the success of each and every business in Bennelong, as well as the welfare of each and every resident is evident; she honestly cares about her electorate and the people within it. She is a part of this electorate, and sees the success of its residents and businesses as a personal reflection of her success as their representative. She takes time to listen, and I’ve seen her stay late into the night listening to the stories that people want to tell her – and then like a great journalist, use these ‘real life’ stories to change the political landscape.
As the parliamentary secretary for early childhood, she made a serious and significant difference to the early childhood landscape across Australia. Maxine did this by listening to parents and carers in Bennelong – and then across Australia. She pushed through barriers that the industry had established years ago, and forged a path for successful change. She didn’t accept the status quo, and in doing so made significant changes in a considerably short period of time.”