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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 2 Hansard (18 March) . . Page.. 456..

The Canberra Burns Club was formed in 1924 by Canberrans of Scottish heritage who, at the time, made up almost half of Canberra's population. Like most of the ethnically oriented clubs in Canberra, the intent of the Burns Club was to provide an organisation that would provide a place to socialise, maintain Scottish cultural interests and ties, and provide moral support for Scots in their new home country.

In the early days the club would host Burns evenings where works of the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns were read to members. The club continues to provide and promote its Scottish heritage in the ACT through the highland dancing community and the club's pipe band, which is amongst the country's finest.

The club is also a major sponsor of the annual Highland Gathering as well as an annual piping and drumming workshop. The club hosts events to celebrate Hogmanay, St Andrew's and supports many supporting teams ranging from darts through to football.

I pay tribute to the men and women who pioneered the Canberra Burns Club along with the current management, staff and board of directors and wish them many successes as they continue to ensure that the club is around for another 90 years.


MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (4.37): Last Saturday, 15 March, I helped the team at Menslink fundraise at the Brumbies and Waratahs match. I want to reflect on what an important organisation Menslink is and report to the Assembly the excellent work that they are doing. Menslink is a Canberra charity that supports young men to overcome the challenges of life and develop their positive potential.

Since 2002 they have assisted over 1,000 young men through their mentoring program and counselling service, which are free to young men and their families. Menslink is primarily funded by the ACT government—they are not really funded by the ACT government—and receive support and sponsorship from a range of organisations across the region. Their major sponsors are ACTEW Water, ACT Policing, ACT Veterans Rugby, bankmecu and Capital Chemist.

On Saturday night the volunteer team raised over $4,000 from Brumbies fans or probably some Waratahs fans as well, and plenty of awareness about the work of Menslink. To a small organisation this makes a real difference. Funds raised will be used for activities that support young guys who are doing it tough, such as training volunteers to be a mentor to a young man for two years or running group activities where socially isolated young men can make new friends and learn how men interact in a positive way, or even provide free counselling sessions for young guys who need help and want to talk to a male counsellor.

The big community campaign that Menslink are involved in this year is the silence is deadly campaign in partnership with the Brumbies. The message they are getting out to young guys is that it is okay to fail and if you are experiencing any difficulties, then

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