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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 13 Hansard (4 December) . . Page.. 3910..


MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

information to those looking into their family history who sought information on what it was like in the early days, and she had been given due recognition regarding other matters of local historical inquiry.

She lived for 31 years at Kanangra Court. She was 65 when she moved there. Her remaining sibling, Tony, died on 2 February 1997. Crippling arthritis took its toll in her later years. She moved into nursing care and in August 2004 she went to Calvary Hospital for approximately five months and then went to Brindabella Gardens in Curtin, where she remained and was cared for by the wonderful staff there, and attended to by relatives and friends until she died, aged 98, on Friday, 9 November 2007.

She had a very large extended family who owed a great deal to her and they remember her for her inquiry, her interest, her love and her legacy of where it all began. The De Smets are a family that came to Canberra in the 1830s. Alma was an amazing long-term resident—one of our early pioneers from an early pioneering family who lived a life within our community and is part of our history. She almost made the ton. I met her on a number of occasions. She had her wits about her pretty well right until the time she moved into Brindabella Gardens. I pay tribute to one of our great early citizens who lived all her life in this region and is part of our history.

Gay and lesbian community

Civil partnerships

MR BARR (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Planning, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation, Minister for Industrial Relations) (6.17): I take the opportunity to talk a little bit about the completion of the 2007 SpringOut festival, Canberra's gay and lesbian festival, that wound up on the weekend. It was another very successful event.

I had the opportunity in late November to present SpringOut pride awards to three members of Canberra's gay and lesbian community who have made a significant contribution to community life over a number of years. The first was to Mark Wittich, who has been president of the Gay and Lesbian Tennis Club, which is the organisation that, in addition to offering tennis every Monday night at Barton, has been instrumental in organising the bush dance, which is probably the biggest event on the Canberra gay and lesbian calendar—an event that attracts more than 1,000 people to the Yarralumla Woolshed. It is quite a night, and provides an opportunity for those of us who in years past might have learnt some square dancing at high school to put it into some practice. I cannot think of many other social occasions over the years where I have ever had to square dance, but there we go.

We also recognised Abby Jane, who has been instrumental in the establishment of the Transgender Network in the ACT and who is also a regular host of Q radio on 2XX Community FM, and Leah Mottram, who has been on the organising committee of the SpringOut festival for at least three or four years. I had the opportunity prior to being in this place of working with Leah on that committee. She is about to head overseas but she has given a number of years of commitment to the organisation of the festival. It contains amongst its events the bush dance and a film festival.


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