Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 5 August 2021) . . Page.. 2430 ..
have held mental health webinars, particularly in light of COVID. They have question and answer sessions with psychologists providing wellbeing tips. They have held a vaccine health forum. There were lots of questions very similar to those in the broader community, but the forum was delivered in a culturally sensitive way.
Through this engagement, they are able to get a lot of positive engagement with their community. Their challenges are similar to those of the ACT government in helping people in their community to obtain trusted health information in a culturally sensitive way. I, for one, am grateful for their service to the community.
MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra—Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Business and Better Regulation, Minister for Human Rights and Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (5.05): I want to take the opportunity this afternoon to touch on a few different things in and out of my portfolios. My colleagues have touched on some of them today as well, but they are no less important for that.
First, a very huge congratulations to Lisa Fuller, winner of the ACT 2020 Book of the Year. Lisa is a Murri woman, originally from Queensland, who has lived in Canberra for many years. Ghost Bird is her first novel. The judging panel described Ghost Bird as “a complex and ambitious novel that uses young adult supernatural fiction to drive a harrowing analysis into colonial trauma”. We wish Lisa all the best with her future writing. She had won many awards and been published many times before she became a first-time novelist. This is not Ghost Bird’s first award, but it was incredibly well deserved. They were the thoughts of the entire judging panel. I also congratulate the two highly commended authors and the other two who were short-listed.
As members may have noticed, I am speaking about the 2020 Book of the Year. The process was necessarily delayed due to COVID. Nominations for the 2021 Book of the Year have just closed, and I very much look forward to hearing from the judging panel in the coming months.
In July, we celebrated the ACT Multicultural Awards. Madam Speaker, as you well know, our diversity is our strength. I was pleased that the awards were highly competitive, with nominations received from right across the community. Warm congratulations to the winner of the individual champion award, Dr Marrwah Ahmadzai; to the winner of the community organisation champion award, known to many of us, Initiatives for Women in Need, IWiN; and to the winner of the outstanding excellence award for diversity and inclusion, Sandipan Mitra, again known to many of us. Jacqui Malins, of Mother Tongue Multilingual Poetry, took out the award for art, media or culture.
As many of us know, multilingual poetry has been a feature of the National Multicultural Festival. I am looking forward to even more nominations being received next year, and I warmly congratulate the winners, who are not only role models but integral to encouraging inclusion and ensuring that we remain the welcoming community that we have such a strong reputation for.