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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 8 Hansard (14 August) . . Page.. 2903 ..


about 70 first-generation Korean-Australians who really did it tough. They migrated to Australia in the 1970s and 1980s as adults and started a new life where they did not know the language, the culture or the people. These were the first-generation Korean-Australians who are our parents and our grandparents.

The forum was an opportunity for our young Korean-Australian future leaders to pay tribute to our first-generation Korean-Australians and to, I hope, be inspired and motivated by our political leaders and members of the Korean-Australian community who forged a path to enable them to dream big and reach their full potential in their adopted country of Australia.

The Korean community here in Canberra is a small but dynamic one. Korean-Canberrans are our public servants, our labourers and plumbers, our academics, our dentists, our lawyers, our accountants, our small business owners, our religious leaders and—from October 2016—a member of a state and territory level parliament.

Australia is, undoubtedly, one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. Canberra is home to people from hundreds of countries who speak hundreds of different languages, and also to numerous diplomatic missions. The diversity of our city is one of the things that make Canberra a great place to live. We can learn so much from each other in terms of food, language and culture, and the richness of our city being home to a melting pot of different cultures and people makes for a much better world.

I hope that the young Korean-Australians who attended the forum on Saturday were able to see just how much their contributions are valued by Australian society, just how much they have to give, and just how much they have to learn. It was a great privilege to be asked to speak about my experiences in becoming the first Korean-Australian member of parliament and to give an address at the formal dinner event.

I acknowledge the Hon Alan Tudge, the federal Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, who made the trip from Melbourne to join us; our own ACT Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Rachel Stephen-Smith, for her time and her encouragement for the community to apply for the ACT grants to showcase the Korean culture to the broader Canberra community; the Leader of the Opposition, Alistair Coe, for his warm words and his networking with our future leaders; and my colleague the shadow minister for multicultural affairs, Elizabeth Kikkert, for her presence.

Pulling off a first is hard no matter what it is. I congratulate the AFKC in hosting its first national event and I thank them for hosting it in Canberra. Of course, I thank the countless sponsors who allowed it to happen, including His Excellency, Baek-Soon Lee, the Korean ambassador to Australia. To President Don Moon and his executive, thank you; I think you got a taste of the hope for the future of young Korean-Australians in being able to make a positive contribution to Australian society.


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