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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 11 Hansard (23 October) . .

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road and keeping it there: Maureen Barrett, Sophie Beauvais, Shian Buutljens, Kim Chatterjee, Allison Denny-Collins, Mark Devan, Renae Hill, Natassja Hoogstad Hay, Sam Kennedy-Hine, Bess Laaring, Cameron Lees, Courtnee Leigh, Annette Liu, Nuranti Mandrini, Michael Monck, Jecinta Neumann, Jen Pang, Tiara Perdana Sari, Michael Perez, Eki Ramadhan, Sallie Rodriguez, Wilson Tan, Adam Thomas, Barbra Wilson and Joshua Wong.

Well done to all involved, particularly the attendees. It was a full house at the Playhouse all day. There was lots of discussion at the luncheon and during the breaks, which were ample, but it was the spirit with which people entered into it that made it such a success on the day. Thank you to all involved.


MR COE (Ginninderra) (4.44): This evening I would like to place on the record my congratulations for a community in Belconnen who have created a wonderful, inviting and meaningful contribution to the lives of many Canberrans. NationsHeart Christian Community in Belconnen has been an important part of our community for 40 years. In addition to the regular Sunday service, the doors are open throughout the week for many different activities. Members of the Assembly would be familiar with the exceptional work NationsHeart do with their FoodHut. The service is truly an institution in Canberra and a great source of physical, emotional, social and spiritual sustenance for many people.

The work that needs to go into such a program is immense. The logistical process includes placing orders with Foodbank New South Wales on Fridays and the deliveries occur on the following Wednesday. I should note that in addition to Foodbank, the FoodHut receives deliveries from the Yellow Van, another great service provided here in Canberra. The time of deliveries can vary so volunteers are on stand-by waiting for the time at which unpacking and stocking needs to take place.

Further to this, rosters have to be prepared, the space needs to be cleaned and, of course, the FoodHut needs volunteers to serve during opening times. Around 80 people come each week to shop, choosing from among the goods provided to suit their household needs. For many people, this means the task of stretching their meagre budget is made somewhat easier, and they are able to access good quality food and goods for a nominal charge.

The driving force behind this massive task has been Richard Swann, who is stepping down as the coordinator after five years in the job. Richard is a stalwart of the NationsHeart community and his efforts were appropriately acknowledged earlier in the month at a celebration at the church. He has much support along the way, from his angels, including his wife Ena. Richard's expertise will not be lost as he will still continue doing the vital role of ordering with FoodHut on Fridays.

Another hive of activity at the church is the Rough Diamonds group. The efforts are led by Jeanette Morris who coordinates between 50 and 100 people with special needs participating in various activities at the church or elsewhere. The events could include chartering a bus and going on an excursion, which I am told can be quite a production.

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