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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 5 Hansard (6 May) . .

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I particularly want to thank Hani Sidaros. He was virtually full time on this project for many months, at a time when his businesses were going through a time of great change. His dedication to the cause is extremely special and one that should be acknowledged here.

A highlight of the night was the many different and desirable auction items which were up for grabs, which were donated. In the live auction, prizes included a Queenstown, New Zealand, golf package as well as a Melbourne Cup marquee package. The silent auction featured over 100 items, including a Jacobs Creek magnum signed by Greg Norman and a Canberra Raiders training experience. I would like to thank everyone who donated an auction item for the night and those who generously bid. Their contributions will go a long way to improve the lives of seriously ill children in and around the capital.

Finally, I would like to thank and acknowledge all the partners and sponsors of Ronald McDonald House Charities gala ball. The ball was supported by many wonderful sponsors, but particularly I would like to acknowledge the platinum sponsors, WIN News, Lexus, Capital Hotel Group, the National Convention Centre, Mount Franklin, and Elite Sound and Lighting; the gold sponsors, Coca-Cola, Briolette, Ellendale, Rover, FM 104.7, Elect Printing and Big Impact Advertising; the silver sponsors, REST; and the bronze sponsors, Leader Security, Instinct, Coates, Thinkstream, Martin Brower, DFK Everalls, ACTTAB and NDH. I would also like to put on the record my thanks to Supa IGA East Row for their donation.

I had a wonderful time at the 2015 Ronald McDonald House Charities gala ball. For more information on Ronald McDonald House, including details of their upcoming events, I encourage all members to visit their website at rmhc.org.au.

ACT interschool parliamentary debate

MS FITZHARRIS (Molonglo) (6.05): I rise to speak this evening about the ACT interschool parliamentary debating program. I had the pleasure of presiding over a session as Speaker recently, here in the Legislative Assembly. On 10 April students from St Francis Xavier College, St Edmunds College, Narrabundah College, Canberra College, Lake Tuggeranong College and Daramalan College took part in what has become a very popular debating challenge.

This session is part of the Legislative Assembly's broader education program and seeks to give students an introduction to the Assembly, an experience of debating in the Westminster tradition, the opportunity to practise public speaking skills in the formal setting of the chamber, and knowledge and experience in working with parliamentary terminology and practices.

Sitting in the Speaker's chair definitely reinforced for me the important work our own Speaker and deputy speakers do in this place. It was a great opportunity to get a different perspective of debate.


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