Page 978 - Week 03 - Thursday, 7 April 2022

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on our waterways. This Lake Ginninderra clean-up was special in a few ways. The team provided kayaks so that we were able to get to the rubbish that has collected in the reeds and access areas that otherwise are not easy to get to. Everybody who turned up got to have a go. There was a barbecue, of course, as well as dedicated wellbeing areas, thanks to the Landcare ACT wellbeing coordinator, to reconnect back with nature after having seen the destruction that humans can do with waste.

Dr Bruno Ferronato was also on hand to help us understand the healthiness of Lake Ginninderra. Pleasingly, it is doing pretty well. Perhaps most unusually, one of the pieces of rubbish found was what appeared to have been a rather large garden fountain, or at least a slightly broken garden fountain. We could only surmise that it had washed downstream during some of the heavy rains that we have had, which, in and of itself, is worth reflecting on.

That same day coincided with private gardens across the city being opened to anyone interested, for a very small fee, which was directed to charities. Open Gardens Canberra was formed in 2015 to continue the tradition of private open gardens established by Open Gardens Australia. Its mission is simple but powerful: to open gardens in the Canberra region for viewing by members and the public, to encourage sustainable garden practices, and to support community projects and charities. Two Belconnen gardens featured during this weekend’s open days—the Mediterranean garden in Cook and the Davenport garden in Melba. It was a really lovely way to spend some time admiring the extraordinary efforts and beauty, and to take away some ideas, thanks to the owners generously making themselves available to answer any questions over the two days.

Last weekend, of course, heralded the return of the third AusIndia Fair. Despite the atrocious weather, this indoor event attracted a large crowd who were able to reconnect and reflect on the incredible contribution that the Indian community makes in Australia, the indelible, shared cultural and democratic bonds of Australia and India, and the extraordinary friendships and achievements across our local community. My thanks go to FINACT for their continued commitment to this event and what it means for the Canberra community, and particularly for combining it with Harmony Week celebrations, highlighting the strength of our diversity and how we are a better city because of it.

Finally, I want to take us back to Belconnen and bring attention to an exhibition that is close to my heart, Lake Ginninderra: Nine Ways, at Belconnen Arts Centre. The Tin Shed Art Group of nine artists—Noelle Bell, Julie Delves, Margaret Gordon, Eva van Gorsel, Manuel Pfeiffer, Alan Pomeroy, Peggy Spratt, Jenny Adams and Delene White—have captured Lake Ginninderra through their eyes, reflecting their experiences, views and interactions of and with our much-loved lake. The art ranges from sculpture to printmaking to painting, and captures landscapes and detail, the abundant fauna, the buildings and sculptures which frame the lake shore, the paths and the people that can be found along those paths.

Indeed, I have been captured as one of the people along those paths by renowned local artist Delene White in her series of portraits of 30 lake walkers. It is particularly humbling as I have never had my portrait painted before, but what I have loved most

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