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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 7 Hansard (5 August) . .

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I recently had the pleasure of awarding certificates at the work experience and support program course graduation at the Theo Notaras Centre. The course assists Canberra residents from multicultural backgrounds who are experiencing significant barriers to meaningful employment. It provides an opportunity for them to update their skills and experience and to build a network of contacts in the ACT public service.

The three-month course provides training and work experience in the ACT public service, building people's confidence and knowledge as potential employees. It has helped launch the careers and fulfilled the dreams of skilled migrants in Canberra since its inception over a decade ago. At the graduation in June, I presented certificates to 20 Canberrans from Bangladesh, China, India, Iran, Japan, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Sudan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam—reflecting Canberra's diverse multicultural community.

Many already had impressive education experience and qualifications, including masters in business administration, and IT, economics and accounting degrees, but they had difficulty getting a job due to a lack of Australian workplace experience. The course is four weeks of formal training in office skills, the workplace and administration, delivered by the Canberra Institute of Technology, and eight weeks of voluntary work placements in an ACT government agency. The Community Services Directorate is delivering two programs this year, one from March to June and another from June to September. The program has been very popular. This year 120 people applied for the 40 places available.

The ACT government recognises that finding a job is one of the biggest challenges that the majority of migrants encounter as they undertake their new life in Australia. Providing work experience would not have been possible without the support of the managers, staff and executives of the various ACT government agencies in providing placements for the graduates. I thank them for their ongoing support. I also congratulate the graduates now entering a new phase of their lives as part of Canberra's workforce and having the chance to realise their dreams.

Victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17

MRS JONES (Molonglo) (5.49): As you all know, the world was shocked when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine on 17 July this year. I was very honoured to be invited to attend the memorial service which was held at St Nicholas Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Turner on Saturday, 26 July. My deepest thanks go to the Ukrainian church and the Ukrainian community in Canberra for organising and holding this beautiful service, MC'd by Peter Lutak very ably. The main speaker was the ambassador for the Netherlands, with a heartfelt message of sincere condolence for those who lost their lives and lost their loved ones.

The significance of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church holding this memorial shows that the actions in a war zone of a group of people does not represent the views of all Ukrainians or Ukrainians in Canberra. I was joined by the Chief Minister and Mr Doszpot from the Assembly, and Ms Brodtmann, member for Canberra, from the federal parliament. At the service, the choir, which was a collaborative effort between the Ukrainian Orthodox and Catholic communities, sang beautifully; it was great to see the two church communities come together for this event.


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