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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 3 Hansard (18 March) . .

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The close the gap strategy is an integral part of government policy, just as Indigenous Australians are an integral part of our nation. It is essential that we remain committed to achieving the strategy's targets. We cannot claim to be an equitable nation while there is a gap, until Indigenous Australians are enjoying the same health, housing, education and employment outcomes as the rest of the nation.

Lunar new year

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (6.40): On 18 February I had the pleasure of attending celebrations at the Sakyamuni Buddhist Centre in Lyneham for lunar new year. This year we farewelled the Year of the Horse and welcomed the Year of the Goat. The founding abbot of the Van Hanh Monastery, which was established in Lyneham in 1983, is the Most Venerable Thich Quang Ba, and he was our gracious host for the night. My colleagues Brendan Smyth and Yvette Berry were also in attendance. I also attended last year.

As with last year, the food and drink, the singing and dancing, especially the lion dance, and the speeches were all very enjoyable. I would like to congratulate all the staff and volunteers who were involved with the considerable organisational requirements that were undertaken. I would also like to commend the Buddhist centre on their affordable housing project. It was a very enjoyable evening, and I look forward to attending again next year.

Women—achievements

MS FITZHARRIS (Molonglo) (6.42): Yesterday I spoke in the chamber about the achievements of Amanda Whitley and HerCanberra. I mentioned that just last week HerCanberra had moved from an online forum to a hard-copy publication in launching their first magazine, called Magazine. Tonight I would like to talk about some of the women that were outlined and honoured in this magazine in the feature item "15 women to watch in 2015". The feature was designed to mark International Women's Day on 8 March. I had the great honour of being included among these amazing women, and I would now like to take the opportunity to mention them. They come from a range of sectors in the Canberra community—from the design and creative sector to the publishing sector, the community sector, the science and research sector, the music sector and the business sector. I would also like to note, on the back of Dr Bourke's adjournment speech, that two of the women are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

Nellie Peoples, referred to in the magazine as "The maker", is a designer in metal smithing. Nellie first studied architecture, which led to her decision to study gold and silver smithing at the ANU. In that role she was recognised internationally and subsequently went on to win the inaugural design CBR Designcraft Craft + Design Award. In 2015 Nellie has plans to develop a studio and work space and a goal to expand her practice internationally.

There is Zoya Patel, referred to as "The publisher". Zoya is only 25, but already she has been editor-in-chief of Lip magazine and last year founded her own publication,


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