Ms JENNY AITCHISON (Maitland) (17:18:40): I acknowledge the contributions of East Maitland RSL sub-Branch president Stephen Grimmer, who has led the chapter for three years and served as vice-president for two. Stephen is a serving squadron leader in the Royal Australian Air Force and began his military career 37 years ago as a radio apprentice, working his way through the ranks and earning his commission.

Earlier this year State RSL Auxiliary Coordinator Pauline James, AM, asked for Stephen's help to encourage members to knit yellow poppies for the Invictus Games. He asked Pauline to send him the pattern because, as he put it, "Before I asked anyone else to do it, I thought I should try it myself." Stephen mastered the pattern and soldiered through, knitting a poppy a day.

Stephen says his work for the RSL is a way to give back to the community, and his enormous contributions will be sorely missed when he accepts a posting to the United States at the end of the year. I thank Stephen for all he has given to the veterans community in Maitland.

I wish him and Fiona every joy and success during their time abroad.