Page 457 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 22 March 2022

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The Bush to Bounty booklet captures stories about individual members, who show that a garden is a place that is abundant with generosity. It is a hub for sharing: sharing gardening knowledge, swapping seeds and supplying vulnerable people in our city with fresh, locally grown vegetables through Canberra City Care.

It is a place for hobby—or perhaps obsession—and simply might be a space that is better suited than one’s own garden. It is also clearly a place of perseverance—against the elements, against pests of the animal and the human kind and in developing one’s own understanding of the plot and everything that might come of it.

The garden is clearly also a haven to disconnect but, importantly, one to reconnect, with friends or with skills or with preserving tradition or remembering family members. Most tellingly, it is a place of harmony and health and it is a tonic that suits any condition.

Julie’s booklet reflects all this and more. I really do commend her and all those who contributed to it. It is a wonderful snapshot of history and the communities that we do not just find ourselves in but create. It was wonderful to gather together to celebrate the 21st birthday with the launch of this booklet, and to hear from Keith and Julie, and early gardeners Raz and Janet.

My special thanks to all the members who made me so welcome on such a special occasion, and especially to convenor Peter Weddell and former convenor Mike Avent for their tour through the garden as well, which is a burst of colour and produce, from Jerusalem artichoke flowers to pumpkins and dill, tomatoes—still—and dahlias. It was a really lovely occasion, one that I found quite difficult to tear myself away from. I trust that they will continue to thrive there for decades more.

Aboriginal heritage—personal history

MR PARTON (Brindabella) (5.07): I have been on a bit of a journey in the last six months and I just wanted to share some of it with this chamber because I think it is important. For a long time, for many years, I have been aware of my Aboriginal heritage but I have never really attempted to find out much more about it. That is for a couple of reasons, and I guess one of them is that I feel like a bit of an impostor in the space.

In the last six months I have been encouraged by some of my relatives and some Aboriginal friends to examine it more closely. I think one of the other reasons I have not in the past is that my father—at the end of the day, there is no other way to explain it—was ashamed of his Aboriginality. It was just never discussed, Madam Speaker. It was never discussed, and it led to an information void for me.

And so, armed with my grandmother’s birth and marriage certificates, I wrote away to Aboriginal History WA to find out more about where I came from, and they certainly did not let me down. They sent me this amazing collection of documents in a wonderfully presented folder titled “My Family History”.

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