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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 December 2020) . . Page.. 117 ..

to erase transgender people—sometimes in the most brutal ways possible—it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that those behind continue to fight for justice.

I had the pleasure to visit A Gender Agenda on 18 November to participate in their commemoration and hear about the work AGA has undertaken over the last year. We lit candles and paid our respects to the 350 trans people who were killed because of fear, misunderstanding and hatred across the world just in the last year.

I thank executive director, Sel Cooper, and deputy director, Joel Radcliffe, for showing me around AGA House. A Gender Agenda is a local community organisation that works with the intersex, trans and gender diverse community. This includes trans and gender-diverse people, their partners, family members and allies.

AGA is committed to increasing public awareness and understanding of trans and gender diversity issues through their training and education and the provision of information and resources throughout the community. AGA provides advocacy and support for trans and gender-diverse Canberrans.

They are actively engaged in human rights and law reform in the ACT and nationally. I thank them sincerely for their work in bringing attention to the ongoing human rights concerns facing the communities they represent, and I look forward to working with AGA as partners to ensure security and longevity of their organisation.

Challenging transphobia by being a proactive and visible ally is vitally important to me. I am looking forward to working with the government, the community sector and health services over the next four years to ensure that the services provided to Canberrans are accessible, empowering, affordable, and timely. Canberra’s transgender community has no stronger ally in this place than me.

National Peace Symposium 2020

MRS JONES (Murrumbidgee) (4.30): I rise today to note a fantastic event I was asked to speak at last Saturday, 28 November, in Narrabundah which was the Ahmadiyya Muslim community’s National Peace Symposium 2020, “Establishing Peace for a Bright Future Symposium”. In particular I would like to acknowledge the work of Imam Ahmed and members of his congregation and for the presence of Reverend Michael Coughlan from the Anglican Church of Queanbeyan. I was very pleased to be able to speak about the concept of peace. It is something we all need to work towards. My speech focused predominantly on personal forgiveness and the way that we can work towards peace in our own spheres and in our own lives.

At the same time, I would like to note the great contribution, the Ahmadiyya Muslims make to the life of the ACT, in particular, their hope and plans for building their own mosque in the Narrabundah area near the cultural clubs. I was involved with that in my first period as the shadow minister for multicultural affairs when I was first elected to this place when a very inappropriate block was offered to that community by the government. I am pleased to see that after some tough negotiations and hard work from members of the community and no doubt the government that a better block has been found which they will hopefully build on soon.

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