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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 4622 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

My second point is to congratulate the Wallabies, and especially our Canberra Brumbies representatives, for a magnificent World Cup effort. Many commentators completely wrote them off at the start of the competition and during the competition. They showed immense courage, skill and mettle in that magnificent semi-final against the Kiwis. I have spoken to a lot of Kiwis who were convinced that they would be the ones playing against the Poms in the final but, because of the magnificent effort of our team, that was not to be. Of course, it was an epic final.

Whilst I, and most people here, am quite disappointed that Australia lost, it was a great performance. The result was taken into extra time with a fantastic performance against an excellent side by a very gutsy Australian team, brilliantly led by our very own captain of the Brumbies and Wallabies, George Gregan. All in all, it was a brilliant performance. It went right down to the wire and could not have been scripted any better.

I suppose one must offer congratulations to the poor old Poms. They probably did deserve a World Cup, their first in about 37 in any major sport. The gratifying thing is that they are probably not going to win another one in 50 years, whereas the Wallabies will. Top marks to both teams. I do not want to appear churlish to the English. I think it will do a lot for rugby generally and for rugby in Britain especially, where, funnily enough, only 4 per cent of the population has ever played that wonderful game.

Rugby was probably the winner there, but what a superb result! Our blokes can hold their heads high. There were great efforts from former Brumbies coach, Eddie Jones, and Phil Thompson, a local boy who played with Marist and then Royals and is now manager of Australia, after being manager of the Brumbies.

There were all the support staff and, of course, our Brumbies representatives, including some great up and coming players, such as Matt Giteau, who really shone during that tournament. Some of the younger players offer a lot of hope, not only for the Brumbies but for Australian rugby. I offer my congratulations and hope everyone in the Assembly will join with me in congratulating the Wallabies on a fantastic World Cup. Congratulations go to all the organisers for the best World Cup ever.

Australian International Hotel School

MRS BURKE (4.34): It is with great pleasure that I commend the Australian International Hotel School for an excellent convocation, held on Sunday, 23 November 2003, at the Great Hall in Parliament House. This was the seventh conferring of degrees ceremony and was enhanced by the wonderful contribution made by graduates and students of the Canberra School of Music. The ceremony for the conferral of bachelor of business, hotel management, was presided over by Professor David Beanlan, the chairman, and Professor Michael Conlin, director and dean, in company with Professor Ruth Duncan, vice chancellor of RMIT University.

It was a great occasion. There was the announcement of the new dean, Professor John Walsh, who comes from the University of Guelph in Canada. He is a former Pom who resided just down the road from where I used to live in Manchester. The recipient of the 2003 honorary Fellows Award was Mrs Linda Bardo Nicholls, who most will know as the chairman of Australia Post. She also gave a most motivational speech.

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