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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 1 August 2019) . . Page.. 2612 ..


MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mr Pettersson for his interest in celebrating the history of Canberra. The weekend of 20 and 21 July was a significant occasion for humankind. It marked 50 years since humans first set foot on the moon: a gigantic leap forward for scientific endeavour, one that inspired generations to come. I am very pleased that Ms Lawder was involved in the celebrations; she played a key role in enjoying the celebrations.

Fifty years on, we continue to seek to inspire the next generation into STEM fields, particularly young women. Canberra Moon Week played an important role in doing just that. This government partnered with a range of institutions, such the ANU, CSIRO and NASA, to help mark the occasion. Events spanned talks from the next generation of NASA scientists plotting to put humans again on the moon—and then onto Mars—to fireside chats with local Ngunnawal elder Wally Bell.

Opposition members interjecting

MADAM SPEAKER: Members, please.

MR GENTLEMAN: More than 85 per cent of the Canberra Moon Week events were either full or at 90 per cent capacity, and they had attendees from every state and territory in Australia, with some families travelling from Melbourne, regional New South Wales and the Northern Territory to attend various events and activities as part of Canberra Moon Week.

Canberra Moon Week built on our Heritage Festival earlier in the year, along with events at the Enlighten Festival. Events will continue in the program for Floriade.

MADAM SPEAKER: Before I call Mr Pettersson for his supp, can I ask members on my left to please—

Mrs Jones: stop entertaining ourselves.

MADAM SPEAKER: That would be a start. Mr Pettersson.

MR PETTERSSON: Minister, what role did Canberra play in helping humans set foot on the moon?

MR GENTLEMAN: Without Canberra we would not have been able to see those first pictures of Neil Armstrong’s historic steps on the moon. I acknowledge particularly the trackers, the teams at the tracking stations in our territory, who helped bring about these images and of course confirmed that Apollo 11 had landed on the moon. As the American Ambassador acknowledged during the celebrations:

They showed the world the power of the possible—what big dreams, unrelenting effort, and pure grit could accomplish.

Through these events, which the government supported, we were able to acknowledge and thank the trackers for their work. It was a pleasure to be able to join them when


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