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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 5 August 2021) . . Page.. 2429 ..

I have also been talking to some academics at UC and ANU about how we can build some better connections between government and our environmental science programs and academics. There is a lot of scope there. It is fun to have a chat to some of these experts about their fields. I was pleased to catch up with the Clean Energy Council about our circular economy and how we can improve our recycling here.

I also chat a lot to the community. I tend to do a coffee club every Friday, and I do weekend stalls. That is really good; you chat to people from different walks of life and they come up and tell you exactly what is on their mind. It ensures that you keep in touch with what is happening in people’s lives from day to day.

In addition to the individuals, I have met quite a lot of community groups, such as the Belconnen Community Council. The Australian College of Midwives had a lot of very sensible, practical suggestions that I would love to help them take forward. I went to a fantastic winter ball with the East African Association. I would like to thank Bosi and all of the women who made us so welcome at that event.

I met the scouts, which was a lot of fun. I like the Scouts; they have an amazingly rich membership base. They have a big presence in Belconnen in particular, and they do a lot of really interesting programs. They also sent me the link for a photograph of Shane Rattenbury at the age of 10 in a Scout uniform. I really scored in that meeting! That was quite fun all round.

It has been good fun. I want to remind everybody in Canberra that you should come up to an MLA whenever you see them. We are here to listen to your concerns. The more you tell us about what is going on, the better we will be able to do our work in the Assembly.

ACT Australian Islamic Medical Association

MR BRADDOCK (Yerrabi) (5.04): I wish to draw attention to the excellent work of the Australian Islamic Medical Association. This is a national organisation founded a few years ago, which really took off in 2020, with Canberra as its founding office. It is formed with diverse community members from a wide range of health professionals. It has held events across Canberra, including at the Gungahlin mosque, which is in my electorate.

I have had the chance to meet and talk with Lubna Siddiq about the group, and I have been struck by how the group exemplifies the strong community spirit and how it wants to contribute through liaising and communicating with the Australian community in a culturally sensitive way.

The community are a strong pillar showing how Australia should be. They are to be applauded. Their work includes a blood donation drive, which they did in partnership with the Red Cross. They ran this through the mosque, with the support of religious leaders there, and were able to attract 500 new blood donors, an effort for which they were quite rightly awarded the trophy of the year from the Red Cross. In addition, they run training in CPR, basic first-aid courses and the use of defibrillators. They

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