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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 8 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 2487 ..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

profile publicity seekers to do it. They just wanted to get on and do it. I will not name them, Mr Speaker, because they asked me not to quite a few months ago. But I will name their project. It is called the Jundah project and it is about bringing a couple of kids to Canberra from Cherbourg.

The group was motivated by a talk that we received from Matthew Malone, who, I must say, was incredibly inspirational. These people just went out and got a few little fundraising activities together. They got behind them the Hotel Kurrajong, the Body Shop, the Queanbeyan branch of Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation, a large section of the school system - Barry Woolacott, the principal of Lanyon High School; I am sure that Mr Smyth will be chuffed to hear that, as indeed I was - and a number of high profile people who get their names in the paper often enough for me not to bother to mention them here.

They had a vision, Mr Speaker. That vision in their own small way was to empower young Aboriginal people through new experiences, to give young Aboriginal people an opportunity to be heard in Canberra, to provide an opportunity for ourselves and all involved to learn about reconciliation from the kids from Cherbourg, and to demonstrate that ordinary citizens in Canberra support reconciliation and, importantly, that we provide a human face to reconciliation. (Extension of time granted) As I have said, they have arranged to sponsor two young people and a senior member of the Cherbourg Aboriginal community to visit Canberra for a few days and meet some people in Canberra. The community in Cherbourg actually conducted a little competition by nature, some short essays that the kids wrote on reconciliation, and chose from that two young people, Rosie Collins and Naomi Malone, who are both only 14 years old, and they will be coming down here with a chaperone, Sandra Morgan.

They are going to see how the Federal Government works - best of luck to them; I think it needs a heart starter, quite frankly, because I do not think that it is doing too well in this game - and they are going to meet with some other young people who are working and studying in Canberra and get a chance to see the national capital's attractions and institutions. They are going to get a little holiday, which will be supremely exciting for 14-year-old kids, and then they are going to talk to people about what reconciliation is all about from their perspective. I sincerely hope, Mr Speaker, that those people who come in contact with this group will get more out of what they have to say than these kids will get out of coming to Canberra.

I gave you that little story just to emphasise that there are people in our community who are doing something in real time about it. They are not just standing still in places such as this and saying, "What a great idea this is". Mr Speaker, I conclude by saying that we need to have a reality check on this issue. We need to make sure that we are actually doing what we are saying. We need to make sure that our aim is for a seamless society and we have to put real emphasis on saying to these people how sorry we are that something really dreadful has happened to them in their lives - I have to say that it is just frightening to think about it - and make sure that we actually do what the dictionary says in the sense of making friendly after an estrangement.

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