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

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MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Mr Coe!

MS PORTER: Thank you. The ACT Legislative Assembly is incredibly fortunate to be hosting such an exhibition celebrating 40 years of the ASEAN dialogue partnership with Australia. It highlights the importance of ASEAN not only for us as politicians, for the political sphere and economic organisations, but also as an organisation which aims to enhance the broader cultural understanding of its member nations.

Australia was one of the first to recognise the importance of the ASEAN relationship, starting with a small meeting of officials in Canberra in 1974, becoming the first ASEAN dialogue partner and then growing to the very strong partnership we see today. At a local level, it is an opportunity to engage with the diverse cultures of these nations without having to leave home and that, of course, is of great benefit.

The artefacts and artworks for this exhibition were selected by the ASEAN member embassies and high commissions as a way of showcasing their unique cultures. I can imagine it was no easy task to select these items, but from what we see in the exhibition room upstairs, they have chosen well and I congratulate all those who were involved.

Dr Charlotte Galloway, in her role as secretary with AusHeritage and her position as a lecturer in curatorial studies at the Australian National University and also because of her research interests in cultural heritage management in Asia, curated the exhibition. Dr Galloway's passion for Asian art and culture is evident and I hope many Canberrans take the opportunity to visit the exhibition. It will be its last day tomorrow; so I would encourage everybody that has not already been upstairs and taken some time to look at the extensive exhibit up there and the information that is provided to do so before it is taken down later tomorrow.

Again, congratulations to all those people who worked to make this possible, including the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the diplomatic corps and, of course, AusHeritage and to individual members of ASEAN. I want to encourage you all to take the time, as I said before, to visit the exhibition.

National Missing Persons Week

MR WALL (Brindabella) (4.53): I rise this afternoon to speak about National Missing Persons Week. Approximately 35,000 people go missing in Australia every year. This equates to about one person every 15 minutes. Thankfully, 99.5 per cent of these people are found. However there are more than about 1,600 long-term people missing. This means that they have been missing for in excess of six months.

The three most at-risk groups within our community of going missing are the youth, those living with a mental illness and the elderly, with males being consistently overrepresented in each category. It is believed that for every person that goes missing at least 12 other people are affected either emotionally, psychologically, physically or financially.


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