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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 5 Hansard (14 May) . . Page.. 1533..


Australian National Eisteddfod

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (6.38): Last Saturday on a cold night I was greeted by the warm sounds of the Twilight Jazz Band at the Lyneham High School performing arts centre. I was there to be part of the launch of the 2014 Australian National Eisteddfod. The National Eisteddfod has been held since 1938. This year, piano, bands, orchestras, choirs, speech and drama, and singing will be showcased in five divisions between May and September.

One hundred groups with 3,000 local and interstate musicians will feature in the bands and orchestras division. About 500 musicians will be travelling from Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales. Most will be spending at least two nights in Canberra, a great cultural gift to our community, and a useful stimulus for our local economy.

At the launch the Eisteddfod's new president, Sylvia Tulloch, told the audience of her experiences in eisteddfods as a child and the valuable lessons for life which she had learned in competition. The benefit of the Eisteddfod to the Canberra community is immeasurable. It provides a unique opportunity for our school students and community performing arts groups to take centre stage in world-class venues such as the ANU School of Music's Llewelyn Hall.

Past competition in the National Eisteddfod has been an important experience for many music, speech and drama teachers across the ACT. They have embedded the event within their curriculum, particularly in the public education system at schools such as Lyneham high.

Apart from Canberra schools having some of the best academic results in Australia, another distinguishing feature is the strength of music education here in all its forms. Many say both are directly linked. Students who learn to play music and perform so brilliantly representing Canberra in the Eisteddfod do better in their other studies because of it.

Winners in the 2013 National Eisteddfod included bands and orchestras from schools in my electorate of Ginninderra: Kingsford Smith School, Radford College and Melba Copland Secondary School. I am proud that the National Eisteddfod is supported by the ACT government through artsACT.

National Volunteer Week

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (6.40): I rise tonight to speak about an important awareness week taking place this week—National Volunteer Week. This year marks the 25th anniversary of National Volunteer Week. There are volunteer firefighters and volunteers delivering meals to seniors, revegetating wetlands or cleaning up our parks and waterways. There are volunteers who tutor young people and doctors and lawyers who donate their services to those who cannot afford them.

There are volunteers with organisations that help sick children and their families, sporting groups or simply just being there for whatever needs to be done. In almost all


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