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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 9 Hansard (21 September) . . Page.. 3072..


MR SPEAKER: The member's time has expired.

International Day of Peace

Solomon Islands project 2006

Women During the War (1980-88) exhibition

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (4.42): Mr Speaker, today is 21 September, the International Day of Peace in the UN calendar. Hopefully, it is a day when people, communities and nations can share their vision of creating a better world. This year the United Nations has agreed that this day be observed as a global ceasefire day and a day of peace and non-violence. It is a good thing that the ABC is on strike today because there is no news of the kind that the media likes. There is no violence. It is a day of peace and global ceasefire.

There are a number of events scheduled in the ACT. One of them is a concert tonight at the Albert Hall. Members may have received invitations. It is called Peace in Our Time? There will be 85 singers from a number of choirs, and Canberra is a city of choirs. There are new works by Fiona Fraser, Judith Clingan and Glenda Cloughley. It is good to know that things are happening in Canberra, because people know that there is quite a strong community here committed to peace.

I also got an email from Bob Sobey, who would be known to everyone here, about the global scouting community's work to achieve peace. The ACT branch's gift for peace is the Solomon Islands project 2006. People may have heard Bob talk about this. He does get really excited about it, I think quite understandably. Forty-two people are to go to Honiara to work with the scouts to develop basic infrastructure on a property that will be used for community education, particularly in the area of peace. I think we all understand that that is work that is needed in the Solomon Islands, and Bob and others will be living and working with local scouts for two weeks, getting up at 4 am to go to the markets, camping and so on. All members have this email. They follow the progress of that group through the Internet.

Finally, my contribution to the International Day of Peace was to open, on Monday, an exhibition called Women During the War (1980-88) by Nasser Palangi. The exhibition, which I commend to everybody, deals with the war in Iran. People might remember that at that time Iraq and Iran were at war. At that time Saddam Hussein was the darling of the US and Iran was the enemy. Iran is still the enemy. That much has not changed. Saddam Hussein, of course, has had quite a demotion since those days.

At that time, Nasser was a young art student. Apparently he has about 5,000 line drawings and photos from that time. He has got together quite an incredible collection at the ANU School of Art foyer. Some of it reminds me of William Blake's work, others of Rembrandt. The prevailing image is the image of women in the complete chador, with women beside graves and waiting in queues showing various aspects of grief and mourning. It is a unique and very powerful exhibition.

The exhibition is primarily about peace and the fact that women are usually the main victims of war. I think we all know that civilians are the prime victims of most conflicts, and the exhibition is a powerful reminder that women and children make up the largest


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