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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 31 July 2019) . . Page.. 2562 ..

Vanuatu only achieved independence from France and the UK in 1980, making it one of the world’s newest nations. This was the first year that Vanuatu Independence Day was celebrated in the Canberra region. It was my privilege to attend the event that was held this past Saturday evening. The theme was, “We’re bringing tropical Vanuatu to Canberra,” and the celebration certainly lived up to that promise.

On a cold winter’s night I was immediately greeted by the warmth of the islands, which absolutely includes the warm and friendly embrace of the islanders themselves. I take this opportunity to wish all Ni-Vanuatu living in the ACT a happy Independence Day. I also wish to thank those who organised the event this past weekend, including Brigitte and Sylvie and the rest of the amazing team. I greatly enjoyed the food, the Pacific Islands floor show and, most importantly, the opportunity to be with dear friends and make several more in the process.

Trash Mob Canberra

Active Aranda

MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra) (5.58): I recently had the pleasure of attending two fantastic community initiatives in Belconnen. I do not think it will surprise anyone that, in keeping with today’s theme, I might talk a little more about rubbish by reflecting on more of the good work of our friends at Trash Mob Canberra.

Many people both here and in the community will be familiar with the wonderful work of Trash Mob Canberra. These volunteers collect rubbish and recyclables from parks and reserves across Canberra, ensuring that our green spaces and waterways continue to shine. I have volunteered at a number of Trash Mob events in the Ginninderra electorate and I am always struck by how committed regular volunteers and residents are to preserving our environment and enriching and connecting our community.

To mark World Environment Day in June, Trash Mob Canberra teamed up with Canberra schools strike 4 climate to organise a clean-up at John Knight Memorial Park at Lake Ginninderra. It is always disappointing to see rubbish strewn around and dumped in Lake Ginninderra but getting together and working together to improve the environs is always a pleasure, and I was very happy to support the groups by organising a barbecue lunch for these hardworking volunteers who collected bags upon bags of litter. We were very lucky that, despite the fact it was winter, we had clear blue skies and many hands making light work on the day.

I have always enjoyed supporting Trash Mob Canberra and keeping Belconnen and the broader Canberra beautiful. I emphasise my thanks to all the volunteers who participated in the clean-up and who have participated in countless clean-ups since, and special thanks, of course, to their coordinator, Maddie Diamond. Members of this place will, of course, be very familiar with her, due to her hard work.

After the Trash Mob clean-up, on the very same day, I attended another great community event: an active Aranda meeting at the suburb’s district playing fields. The Aranda Residents Group recently created the active Aranda project to encourage

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