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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 31 March 2021) . . Page.. 757 ..

enriched by them as loving family members, as well as valued and respected members of the community.

I thank the ACT Down Syndrome Association for all their patience and hard work in organising this special occasion and for all the good work that they do to provide enduring support and information to people with Down syndrome, their families, carers and the wider community. I also extend my thanks to each of the sponsoring businesses who supported the event, the volunteers and the families and individuals who contributed in any way, including by attending. I felt blessed to be amongst such inspiring and devoted members of our community.

I take this opportunity to express my love and gratitude to all our Canberrans with Down syndrome, both young and old, and also their families. Thank you for all that you do.

Multicultural affairs—Sakyamuni Buddhist Centre

Multicultural affairs—India Australia Association of Canberra

MRS JONES (Murrumbidgee) (5.34): On 11 February I hosted a Lunar New Year event here at the Legislative Assembly. The event began with a speech by Liberals leader Elizabeth Lee about her Korean heritage and how important Lunar New Year is for her and her family. Elizabeth emphasised how lucky we are in the ACT that we can come together with the Chinese and other Asian communities to celebrate in this special way, despite COVID-19.

Next, Chin Wong outlined the foundations of the Chinese Australian Association in Canberra and how it has evolved over the years. Lastly, I spoke about the meaning of the Year of the Ox, that this year is about putting our heads down and working hard, with no expectations of glory—something that the Canberra Liberals will be doing this term, as always.

The major highlight of this event was the spectacular lion dance performance. It was a feast for the eyes and ears. We all enjoyed the lion’s cheeky sense of humour and energetic rhythms. I would like to thank Sam and Chin Wong of the ACT Chinese Australian Association, and my office, for organising the event.

Later that evening I had the honour of attending the Buddhist temple in Lyneham to celebrate another Lunar New Year event with the Sakyamuni Buddhist Centre community. This centre has been a part of the local Canberra community since 1984 and provides religious services, cultural and charitable works, and community housing to assist vulnerable and disadvantaged Canberrans.

I was warmly welcomed by the monk of the temple for a delicious meal. He also told me the history of the temple and about some of the pictures on the wall. Ms Cheyne was there with me. We had an interesting time. As I entered the temple, I was amazed to see so many people in attendance, including, as always, many of my parliamentary colleagues.

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