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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 June 2021) . . Page.. 1657 ..


upper side of the garden bed. I was most pleased to be in attendance and to have the opportunity to speak to the crowd. Well done, Canberra Interfaith Forum, once again doing us proud.

On 9 May it was my privilege to attend the IAAC fundraiser barbecue at the Gungahlin town centre playground. This event was raising funds towards the unfolding crisis plaguing India under the third current wave of COVID cases. I want to thank the many organisers for making the event possible, particularly Sandi Mitra, who is so deeply connected with the Indian community in the ACT. He and his friends and supporters have family in India who have been badly affected by this troubling third wave. It was so good to see the funds raised, which go toward such an important cause as the federal government continues to send aid to India for them to get on top of the crisis. Thank you for all the work you do. I hope to join you again in the future as we pray and work hard for the people of India.

On Friday, 21 May, I was honoured to attend the event at the Sri Lankan Embassy showcasing the celebration of culture and faith. This was also an event to celebrate International Day of Tea, and what better way to celebrate faith than over tea. When I think of the number of deep and meaningful conversations I have had over the years over tea, it is a gift to the world. Let’s face it, Sri Lanka has done more than most in spreading the joy of the use of tea around the world.

We were blessed with prayers by representatives of the Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, and Christian faiths. We were amazed watching the various dance and music performances. Then we were treated to some tea and supper while celebrating the Sri Lankan culture. My special thanks to the Acting Ambassador, Somasunadaran Skandakumar. Thank you so much; it was my pleasure to be in attendance.

LGBTQI+ community—events

MR DAVIS (Brindabella) (5.35): I rise to mark a few important dates that have passed just recently, dates that are important particularly to Canberrans of the sexuality and gender diverse community. I want to speak first of all to IDAHOBIT, celebrated each year on 17 May, celebrating this year 31 years ago when the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from the classification of diseases and related health problems.

As you may know, Mr Deputy Speaker, I recently hosted a IDAHOBIT event, an LGBT-Q&A panel, in the reception room at the Legislative Assembly. All members of the Assembly were invited, In particular, I thank Ms Lee, Mr Cain, representatives of Ms Lawder, Dr Paterson, Mr Steel, and all members of the ACT Greens party room for being in attendance.

We heard from a number of very impressive Canberrans who impressed upon us some of the challenges that still face sexuality and gender diverse Canberrans including but not limited to ensuring public safety for non-binary and gender diverse people, in particular with the use of public bathrooms and ensuring easy access to appropriate identity documentation, It also educated all of us on how best to be a good ally.


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