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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 10 April 2018) . . Page.. 1191 ..

buildings in prime locations that provide exciting opportunities for the community. (Time expired.)

MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (3.56): I am delighted that Ms Lawder brought this matter of public importance before the Assembly this afternoon, and I am grateful for the opportunity to speak to it for a few minutes.

I feel that it is essential that we do everything we can to protect and celebrate both cultural and natural heritage. Knowing something about our past and knowing where we have come from provides us with a sense of identity and purpose. Learning about the richly wonderful heritage of those around us and those who were here before us helps us to understand one another and create a society filled with respect and goodwill.

I recently had the opportunity to visit my homeland. Whilst there, I made a visit to ancient stone tombs built by some of my ancestors. It was like being transported back in time. I am very grateful that over hundreds of years these examples of physical heritage have been preserved.

I am also grateful for the stories that form a part of our heritage. My stories are important to me and have shaped who I am. I love hearing other people’s stories as well and getting insights into why they are who they are. I feel passionate about keeping such heritage alive through telling and retelling stories. Young people develop a strong sense of identity as they learn these stories. As the shadow minister responsible for youth, I worry sometimes that we live so much in a world of “now” that we forget to tell children about all that has come before.

As those in this chamber will know, I recently sponsored a writing competition for children and young people called “Back to your roots”. I did this specifically to encourage kids to go to their parents, grandparents and others to ask them to share their stories so that the heritage is not lost. The winner of the primary division, 11-year-old Matilda Jenkins from Wanniassa, wrote a beautiful short story about her grandfather’s experience growing up in Far North Queensland. I would like to quote what she had to say about it:

This story seems the perfect embodiment of my heritage: what stood out to me from my research was the toughness of my ancestors. They survived droughts and flooding rains, and ran stations all over Australia. They worked hard and displayed true courage. And that, I’m proud to say, is my heritage.

Matilda will benefit throughout her entire life from the resilience and hard work of her ancestors, which she knows about only through the stories that have been preserved and told, and hopefully will be retold.

As we join together to celebrate and enjoy the Canberra and Region Heritage Festival during the second half of April, I specifically invite people to participate in two events that are occurring in the Belconnen area. The Heraldry and Genealogy Society of Canberra, which runs its own family history library in the suburb of Cook, will hold an open day at the Belconnen library on Saturday, 21 April from 10 am to 4 pm. They

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