(1.30pm, Thursday 9 October 2014, Sydney Town Hall)
Hello everyone and welcome to Sydney Town Hall.
I am glad that you could all be here to honour the South Sydney Rabbitohs after their great Grand Final victory on Sunday and to be present as they receive the Keys to the City.
The hard work and perseverance of this team has brought such pride to our community.
Souths have been through many tough years. A lot of time has passed since the team put its hands on the trophy.
When Rugby League was split and teams forced to merge, the powers in charge said there was no place for Souths.
But the people and the fans wouldn't give in. 80,000 people marched through the city to the steps of Town Hall to support their club.
You - the fans, members and passionate supporters - fought back, and a huge groundswell kept Souths from being relegated to history.
And now, we're delighted to see the team, and its army of supporters, back at Town Hall.
As a long time Redfern local, I know the whole community is proud of South's success. The strength and spirit of the team has been inspiring.
And I am proud that in 2007 the City of Sydney began a $32 million upgrade of Redfern Park and Oval. We created a world-class training facility and grand stand for Souths and other local teams, and a beautiful park for the community to gather.
That investment has paid off!
And I look forward to seeing more success in the years to come.
Congratulations to the players and the coaching staff and to Russell Crowe. Your commitment, dedication, the many hours of training and the sacrifices have resulted in your great win.
We all watched, hoped, shouted and even cried with you.
Hearts swelled with pride and heads were held high.
And now I would like to ask South Sydney Rabbitohs Head Coach, Michael Maguire to accept the keys to the City - the highest honour that a city can confer on an individual or organisation.