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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 11 Hansard (21 October) . .

Page.. 3398..

National Grandparents Day

MR COE (Ginninderra) (4.33): I rise this afternoon to speak about Grandparents Week and National Grandparents Day. National Grandparents Day was first celebrated in Australia in Queensland in 2010, with the ACT first celebrating the day in 2012. For the first time, in 2014 the ACT will, this week, recognise Grandparents Week, culminating in National Grandparents Day this Sunday, 26 October. Grandparents Week and National Grandparents Day pay tribute to the important role that grandparents play in society and recognise the irreplaceable role they hold in our community. Grandparents commonly act as carers, babysitters, guidance counsellors, and many people fondly recall spending time as a child with their grandparents. In fact, in 2011 there were 937,000 children, approximately 26 per cent of all children aged between 0 and 12 years, who received childcare from a grandparent on a regular basis.

Grandparents provide a vital link to the past. Many grandparents remember many historic events, perhaps World War II or the Vietnam War, the moon landing, the Melbourne Olympic Games or perhaps the first visit to Australia by Queen Elizabeth, or perhaps even the very personal decision to move to Australia from far-away places. Grandparents have a very special relationship with grandchildren. Often they are the ones who provide lollies, ice-cream or soft drinks when the parents have explicitly advised otherwise, but also they are a wonderful source of experience, advice and wisdom.

To celebrate Grandparents Week and National Grandparents Day, there are many events being held around the ACT. In my electorate, the Belconnen Senior Citizens Club have been holding open days at their club all week, while Kangara Waters will hold a gala fete on Sunday between 9 am and 2 pm at their premises near Lake Ginninderra. Canberra Seniors Centre, the Tuggeranong 55 Plus Club and Woden Seniors have all been holding events throughout this week. Much of this has been done with support from the Community Services Directorate.

An event I was fortunate to attend this week, along with Mick Gentleman, was a celebration of National Grandparents Day organised by the Migrant and Refugee Settlement Service of the ACT. Whilst I have previously spoken about this organisation in the Assembly, I would like to commend their staff for organising this event and all the other wonderful things they do. As per this year's annual report, the staff include Dewani Bakkum, Niran Karaen, Katy Lambert, Sandra Elhelw, Anne Mann, Warren Jansen, Yepeng Wang, Skye Stranger, Kaitlin Saunders, Rajib Paul, Tipelo Manduku, Leanne Pattison, Andrew Kazar, Chris Jones, Chris Finnegan and Kari Pahlman.

Finally, I would like to thank and acknowledge the Hellenic Club of Canberra for supporting Grandparents Week this year. I wish all the grandparents a very happy Grandparents Day on Sunday, and I hope they enjoy the week.

ACT Rescue and Foster

MS BERRY (Ginninderra) (4.36): I was honoured to officially launch the 2015 ACT Rescue and Foster calendar at the National Arboretum on Saturday, 11 October. ACT

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