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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 9 Hansard (24 August) . . Page.. 3821..

Canberra Versailles Association

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (5.19): On Sunday I had the opportunity to wind down, after a freezing day on the polling booths and a few celebratory but not premature triumphalism drinks that resulted after polling day, and enjoy a wonderful musical afternoon at the Wig and Pen, a fundraising event for the Canberra Versailles committee. I was pleased to see my colleague Ms Porter at the event as well. I have had the opportunity over the years to share a number of dinners and fundraising events with the Canberra Versailles committee. I would like to commend the Canberra Versailles committee, under the presidency of David Dickson, for the strength and purposefulness of their endeavours over the years when creating ties with Versailles was not particularly fashionable. It was pretty much a victim of left politics in this town when the formal associations between Canberra and Versailles were severed.

Over those years, the Canberra Versailles committee has continued and has raised considerable funds for cultural and educational exchanges, mainly between the ANU and the university in Versailles. Over the years, the Canberra Versailles committee has established an endowment called the John Kirby memorial scholarship, which is now essentially self-funding through the work of the committee. That provides, in memory of the first chairman of the Canberra Versailles Association, a scholarship to allow ANU students to go on exchange to Versailles and to study abroad. In addition to that, the funds that were raised on the weekend go to the Canberra Versailles committee's travelling fellowships, which are aimed mainly at musicians from the School of Music who have the opportunity to travel and study their music in France.

We were treated to a splendid afternoon of singing and strings and exquisite flute music from various ages. I pay testament to the Canberra Versailles committee and its fantastic hosts at the Wig and Pen, Lachie and Janie McOmish, for a splendid afternoon. I encourage members to put aside the 1970s, 1980s-style antipathy towards this great community organisation and support an organisation which, over the years, has raised tens of thousands of dollars and furthered the education of Canberrans and students at the ANU solely through private endeavours. Its work is to be encouraged.

Canberra Versailles Association

Hall village

Canberra Raiders

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (5.23): As Mrs Dunne said, it was great to be at the Canberra Versailles Association fundraising event on Sunday. It was a very pleasant afternoon. I am very pleased that my discussions with the Chief Minister about recognising that association and the relationship it has with Versailles—it is an important and longstanding relationship—have borne some fruit in that he will be sending a letter, via that association, to the mayor of Versailles. I hope that we can continue to build on the relationship that this organisation has established over so many years. The work it is doing in sending these young people across to study is fantastic, and we heard about the fruits of that on Sunday.

On Sunday, I had the great pleasure to officially launch, on behalf of the Chief Minister, the refurbishment of the historic pavilion at the village of Hall, the refurbished headmaster's cottage and the all-weather tennis courts. I have been

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