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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 31 March 2021) . . Page.. 761 ..

It was also very special to come together on Harmony Day just the other week to celebrate the launching of the peace pole for Canberra. This is a partner initiative between the Canberra Multicultural Community Forum and the Rotary Club of Canberra, which, as we know, is celebrating 100 years. It was launched by the Governor-General of Australia and the president of the CMFC, Chin Wong. Harmony Day, familiar to many of us here, promotes social inclusion and racial harmony, the strength of our diversity and inclusivity. The peace pole shares the message “may peace prevail on earth” in many languages—a simple message, but a physical reminder, too, that peace does not just occur but is something that we must always be working on together, united.

Finally, I also want to acknowledge that last week marked the 50th anniversary of the independence of Bangladesh. Australia enjoys a strong relationship with Bangladesh. Here in the ACT we are home to many people from Bangladesh or who are of Bangladeshi heritage. Our community is thoroughly enriched because of it.

I really do want to acknowledge that this anniversary is one of mixed emotions. It marked considerable loss, including an incredible loss of life. Some estimate that up to 500,000 people died in the liberation. I know that there are some very difficult memories that this anniversary can bring up, whether people lived through it or whether it brings up memories for their families too. But it is also an anniversary of strength and unity and what it means to come together, including as a relatively young nation.

It was special to be able to come together through celebrations last week. I was able to attend one which was organised by Kamrul, who is known to many of us—and Mr Braddock—who I absolutely commend for an excellent event where many stories were shared and songs were sung. Most importantly, we were able to reflect on what that anniversary meant and how important it was. Thank you.

Ginninderra electorate—community engagement

MR CAIN (Ginninderra) (5.47): I would like to reflect on my early time as an MLA and highlight some of the wonderful people, businesses and groups in Ginninderra and elsewhere that I have been very fortunate to meet and, at times, have helped to make a real difference. I say “my early time”, which does lead me to occasionally introduce myself as a baby MLA. I hope to move on in the next six months as a more mature version of that.

Most weeks I spend Friday and Saturday mornings out at local shopping centres, where I have some enlightening and, at times, challenging conversations with the residents of Ginninderra. But the people are the best part of the job and I am looking forward to hearing more from Ginninderrans over the coming months and years. I do get greeted strangely sometimes, one common greeting being, “Don’t you know the election is over?” and another being, “When is the election?” I give my most diplomatic response to those.

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