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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 17 March 2010) . . Page.. 1071 ..

different in nature. The first was the farewell of Ivan Slavich from ActewAGL. Ivan is not going far. In fact, it is virtually across the road to TransACT. He has been a great contributor to Canberra through his work and commitment on behalf of this organisation over the past eight years and he has also been a great community champion, as he worked very hard for the cause of CanTeen over the years. And as I understand, he has been a prime mover behind raising around $650,000 for this very worthwhile organisation.

His farewell last night was attended by a large number of prominent members of the Canberra business community as well as my colleagues Zed Seselja, Brendan Smyth and Alistair Coe. Ivan was farewelled by Michael Costello and John McKay, with glowing references to his commitment and contribution to ActewAGL. And those in attendance were also treated to a great videotape performance of Ivan performing a Ukrainian folkdance.

I wish Ivan Slavich all the best in his new role as head of TransACT and recommend that he not take up professional dancing, as the video did not prove very commendable. But it was a worthwhile effort in showing us the Ukrainian national dance.

I also attended a fundraising dinner by Canberra Refugee Support Inc at the Noble Palace in Woden. The Canberra Refugee Support group is a community-based, not-for-profit organisation who welcome and provide support to refugees who wish to settle in Canberra. They have no paid staff, and all their members work on a part-time basis in a voluntary capacity. They also use their own facilities and transport for their various activities, while the funds raised are used to allow the organisation to support refugees and asylum seekers to settle in Australia.

Geoff Macpherson gave a speech on the night during which he reminded us all about the role of the Canberra Refugee Support group, which is to provide support to refugees and includes activities to establish an organisation and maintain a group of personnel who are trained and prepared to undertake humanitarian tasks in support of refugees and assist refugees to settle in Canberra and undertake advocacy. Their aim is to help refugees become as independent as possible as quickly as possible.

Geoff also announced that Canberra Refugee Support will be holding their annual scholarship presentation ceremony in the week leading up to World Refugee Day, which is on 20 June this year.

Geoff Macpherson and his hardworking committee hosted close to 300 people last night. The attendees’ generosity also enabled the running of a profitable raffle that added much-needed funds for the CRS. Along with my colleague Brendan Smyth, we enjoyed the company of the many supporters of the CRS and we congratulate Geoff Macpherson and Colleen Fox and their colleagues on their hard work on behalf of this worthwhile organisation.

This morning I attended a Catholic Schools Week function at St Michael’s primary school in Kaleen, in the company of my colleagues Zed Seselja and Alistair Coe, Senator Gary Humphries, the Hon Bob McMullan and the minister for education,

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