Page 981 - Week 03 - Thursday, 7 April 2022

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I just want to mention a few of the wonderful events that I have been to and one that is forthcoming as well. A few weekends ago, I, along with several of the MLAs from this house, attended the Molonglo Valley Multicultural Day and really appreciated the organisation that was behind that, particularly from the Molonglo Valley Community Forum and the multicultural community in that part of Canberra.

As with all of these wonderful events, it was full of entertainment, live performances, food, activities and stalls representing community organisations. Kids races were included. We got to see the mountain dragon again, and Bollywood dancing. There were games for children and families and plenty of traditional food stalls, which are to my particular liking. It was a pleasure to witness the beauty and colour of different cultures coming together peacefully and in celebration.

I could certainly say the same about last Saturday’s AusIndia Fair at the Racing Club, held by the Federation of Indian Associations of the ACT, FINACT. I said to several people, “Thank you for holding this. It really is in place of the Multicultural Festival that, sadly, we were not able to enjoy this year.” That was a wonderful afternoon and conducted in a wonderful spirit.

It was also a pleasure this week, just a couple of nights ago, to address the Canberra Interfaith Forum as an invited guest speaker to speak on a topic of relevance for all people of faith and to share the podium with Dr Dharam Pal Dhall, who gave a wonderful scientific exposition of the benefit of prayer and faith. It was a very interesting approach to the question.

I look forward to this coming Saturday night. My wife and I will be attending the India-Australia Night held by the India-Australia Association of Canberra. We look forward, again, to lots of colour, lots of fun, great food and fantastic company.

I expressed in my inaugural speech—it seems like a long time ago but I believe it was only 18 months ago!—that every human life has incredible potential, irrespective of differences in gender, age, colour and creed. In my engagement with not just the multicultural community in Canberra but the whole of the Canberra community, particularly my beloved district of Ginninderra, I am fully reinforced in that sentiment, the more I get to mingle with people and see the wonderful activities that they do, often on a purely voluntary basis. I want to commend the success story of many of these communities in Canberra and certainly encourage all of our MLAs to be supporters and encouragers of their events. Thank you.

Health—National Health Co-op

MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (5.46): Many residents in my electorate of Ginninderra were shocked by the announcement on 22 September last year that the National Health Co-op had gone into voluntary administration. At the time, this member-owned, bulk-billing cooperative had 32,000 members, most of them in my electorate. That made it one of the largest primary healthcare providers in the ACT, covering nearly eight per cent of all Canberrans.

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