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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (13 February) . . Page.. 2 ..

Inaugural speech

MRS BURKE: Mr Speaker, I ask for leave to make my inaugural speech.

Leave granted.

MR SPEAKER: Before I call Mrs Burke, I remind members that, this being the member's inaugural speech, it is traditional that it be heard in silence.

MRS BURKE: Mr Speaker, today obviously marks a very special occasion, not only for me but also for all those people who have stood by me and believed in me, particularly over the past four or five years. I must particularly thank the people of Molonglo, who have, by their choice, given me this opportunity to serve them. To them I say that you are very special and important people, and I promise to the best of my ability to do my utmost to represent you in the fairest way I can.

I would at this point seek your indulgence for a couple of minutes to enable me to say a big thankyou to some other special people in my life. I naturally give thanks and glory to God for who I am and where I am today; to my husband, Lindsay, and my daughter, Zoe, for their undying love, support and encouragement; to my dad in the UK, who is my greatest inspiration for working at something, not quitting and thereby succeeding; to my parents-in-law, Ken and Sylvia Burke, for their constant love and encouragement; to the ACT Liberal Party; to all the very many tireless behind-the-scenes helpers, who are so often the unsung heroes for all of us in the political arena; to all the other friends and supporters, including Pastors Steve and Jill Janes and all at CCC Tuggeranong; to the excellent administrative support staff who have been so extremely helpful to me over the last few weeks; and last, but by no means least, to all my Assembly colleagues and their staff, who have made me feel so very welcome in this place. To you all, may I express my heartfelt thanks.

I believe I stand here today as a result of the passion, love and commitment I have for this awesome city, the place where my family and I have lived for the last 15 years. We have played here; we have worked here. We arrived from the UK 15 years ago. I am truly honoured to be standing in this place today.

The multicultural diversity of Canberra is a great attraction to me. Besides being the great city of the bush, Canberra has an eclectic mix of culture that makes it what it is-truly unique. I look forward to continually strengthening my involvements with the many diverse and colourful cultural groups in Canberra who have come to Australia, as my family and I did, to add their own uniqueness.

My family and I feel truly blessed with being brought to a place such as Canberra. We are a quick journey down the road to snow or beach or bush. The many and varied venues that we have ready access to for a range of activities leave you breathless. There is always something to do in this place. Let us never forget to take time out to appreciate just what we have here and to each determine never to take Canberra, this magnificent city, for granted. Most Wednesday mornings, Lindsay and I have the wonderful opportunity to marvel at just a small part of this awesome city as we enjoy our involvement with the Rotary Club of Canberra Sunrise at Regatta Point.

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