Ms JENNY AITCHISON (Maitland) (18:49:27): As a proud patron of the volunteers at Maitland Regional Art Gallery [MRAG], I convey my sincere thanks and praise to the staff and volunteers for their work during the challenges of COVID-19.

Under the joint leadership of gallery coordinator Kattie Budeja and manager of gallery and libraries Keryl Collard, the team has continued to maintain and extend the profile and presence of the gallery as a community cultural and social hub. Much of this work has been online.

With over 800 members and counting, the space continues to establish itself as one of the best regional galleries in the State––and even the country. The employees and volunteers exude a vibrant, welcoming atmosphere. They continually support the work of established, emerging and young artists through exhibitions, workshops and cultural exchanges. These hardworking people have delivered around 600 events each year, including events in their very important Art and Dementia Program.

I welcome Gerry Bobsien, the newly appointed director of the MRAG. I cannot wait to see how our city's creative community continues to bloom under her leadership.