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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 1 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 96 ..


Motion (by Mr Wood) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Recognition of indigenous people

Ursula Callus

MR CORNWELL (4.34): I wish to raise two matters. Firstly, I would like to express my disappointment that the procedure for acknowledging the traditional owners of the land here in the ACT was not debated in this Assembly, as the Aboriginal flag was, before it was introduced. Nevertheless, I accept the decision. However, I would like to record my dissent from this acknowledgment, on the grounds that the ACT is the site of the national capital, and all residents here are simply custodians. As such, I believe this land belongs to all Australians, irrespective of race, colour or creed and irrespective of whether they are young or old, rich or poor, male or female. The efforts of the politically correct to suggest otherwise, even historically, is both divisive and tokenistic.

The second point I would like to refer to is the recent death of Ursula Callus, the president of Pro Musica Inc. and founder of the Canberra International Chamber Music Festival. I joined the board of Pro Musica in 1999, so I did not know Mrs Callus very well. However, I was impressed by her quiet perseverance, which has seen Pro Music and the international festival grow to be recognised as one of Canberra's major annual music events since its inception in 1994.

For example, the 1999 season lasted 12 days, with 16 concerts and 45 master classes. Both Australian and overseas musicians and teachers participated, with the enthusiastic support of some six diplomatic missions. In 2000 it did even better, with 18 concerts, 50 hours of master classes and another five diplomatic missions welcoming their own musicians here to Canberra. Thousands of people attend this chamber music festival.

This success could not have been achieved without Ursula Callus' total commitment, be it through negotiating with embassies, seeking suitable venues, enlisting sponsors, preparing grants or thinking out publicity opportunities. In all of these, Ursula Callus was somewhere or somehow involved.

The work of this polite, quietly spoken dynamo has now ended. However, on behalf of the board of Pro Musica, those who helped and advised, those who love chamber music and those who support classical music in general, I would like to pay tribute to Ursula Callus' memory and extend my condolences to her family.

Canberra Tourism and Events Corporation

Corrective services



(Leader of the Opposition) (4.37): Mr Speaker, I want to comment on a number of matters that were placed before the house today. We have seen in question time today and in statements made since question time what I am sure we were all expecting to some degree, and that is a process of deconstructing the work and

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