Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 4626 ..

MRS DUNNE (continuing):

house. Karinya House is about to open its second house in the ACT. That is a testament to great work from a community group.

I recall that, probably eight or nine years ago, I went to a meeting and somebody came in and said, "We are going to do this; we are going to raise money; we are going to set up a trust; we are going to give ourselves five years to raise half a million dollars to set up this much-needed service."I thought, "That is a fantastic aim but they will never do it."I am always the downer, the pessimist. I can gladly say I have been proved wrong by a band of wonderful people. Karinya House was originally set up by Margaret O'Donovan, one of our local physiotherapists. The council of Karinya House is currently headed by Melinda Reist and, in Karinya House itself, their amazing collection of staff and volunteers is headed by Marie-Louise Corkhill.

I also pay tribute to the community organisations, and particularly the wineries of the ACT region, which donated generously to the wine auction, which is always a feature of the fundraiser, and to the winemaker and auctioneer extraordinaire, Tim Kirk, who managed to rustle together all the donations on the day and raise a substantial sum of money for a great community organisation.

CARE Australia

MR PRATT (4.50): I am not sure I agree with Mr Cornwell's definition of a minority but I rise to talk about a minority that is of concern-that is the freely able to operate international aid agencies in difficult trouble spots. They are finding themselves more marginalised as people's respect for the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross and aid agencies in general around the world seems to be disappearing.

I express my deep concern about the attacks carried out at around midnight last Sunday on CARE Australia's Baghdad office. My thoughts go out to the members of CARE Australia-the foreign and Iraqi staff belonging to that mission. I express my deep sorrow to them and their families, and also to the staff of CARE Australia head office located here in Canberra. CARE Australia head office in Canberra is a sizeable organisation and very much one of our own. It is a Canberra institution and we should never forget that.

Senior staff now present at CARE Australia headquarters at 81 Northbourne Avenue started the country office in Baghdad in 1991. The two dual-citizenship British staff who took that mission over in early 1992 have continued to serve in that country to this very day. I wish them God speed, wherever they might be at this moment.

The CARE Australia mission in Baghdad has stoically stuck to its job, through thick and thin, over the last 12 years and is well recognised and well loved by Iraqis. They have been running school feeding programs and agricultural programs in the north and down in Basra. They have been well recognised during the difficult times of the sanctions and Saddam's abuse of his own people. They were somehow able to muddle through all those conflicting dynamics and keep some sort of service going.

I feel confident that the terrorists who struck the CARE Australia Baghdad office did not do so either on behalf of Iraqis or on behalf of any genuine grievance. They are the same mindless, nihlist, fools who do not reflect the values of Islam or any emerging form of

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .