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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 3 August 2021) . . Page.. 2243 ..


Bluetts Block has many resident birds. It is also sometimes visited by other threatened woodland birds like the vulnerable painted honeyeater and the little eagle, and it is a seasonal home to the scarlet robin. It is a core breeding area for our vulnerable superb parrots, and it features old-growth trees with hollows, which are so important for hollow-nesting species. We lost so many of those during our black summer; we really need to take care of the ones we have left. Bluetts Block is also home—it is, in fact, a national hotspot—for the nationally vulnerable pink-tailed worm lizard.

I would love to see Bluetts Block become a bird hotspot in the Molonglo River Nature Reserve and to see it protected from urban development. As we develop Molonglo, we need to make sure that we are protecting our wildlife corridors and make sure that we are setting up sufficient fire buffers and ecological buffers. Anyone who has not visited Bluetts Block yet should get out there and take a look at this beautiful nature area.

Health—Brumby Fitness

MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (4.37): For many Canberrans, the best place to be at 4 am on a cold winter’s morning in Canberra is snuggled up deep under the doona. But Brumby Fitness Kalapu Kau Vaivai are doing their best to change that. I wish to thank this community group for all that they are doing to help improve the physical and mental wellbeing of their members. Brumby Fitness’s Tongan name means “club of the weak or elderly”. The group started earlier this year with just five men, one of whom, Toni Tu’ulakitau, was recovering from surgery following serious health issues. Determined not only to recover but to get stronger, Toni started training at the gym every morning with four mates.

As they saw improvement in their own lives, these five original members—all of them Australians of Tongan heritage—started thinking about their own families and their community. As interest spread, Toni Tu’ulakitau and his mates welcomed all comers. They currently have over 50 active members. Over the past several weeks, it has been my privilege to join in, as well. What a great experience for everyone involved, especially at 4 am! Gym sessions run six days per week, still starting at 4 am on weekdays and 4 am on Saturdays. On Mondays, the focus is on weight training and PT. Tuesdays are formal weights and box fit. Cardio Zumba sessions are held on Wednesdays, followed by weight training and yoga on Thursdays. Participants can enjoy more weight training plus one of my favourite classes, step, on Fridays. Saturdays are considered fun exercise days.

Richard Taumoepeau, a third-year medical student, helps members track their progress by weighing and measuring them each week. He also provides basic health and nutrition advice. Brumby Fitness, however, does not just focus on physical health. It shares a strong desire to improve mental health as well. They do this, in part, simply by building a strong community and giving people opportunities for social engagement. The pandemic has certainly highlighted, for nearly all of us, the central importance of belonging to a supportive community and, true to their Tongan name, Brumby Fitness welcomes everyone, no matter the current fitness level. Parents have started bringing their children. Special attention is given to make the experience safe and inviting for women and seniors as well.


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