Page 3410 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 20 September 2005

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Our musician was just as excited to show her wares and provided the group with a fantastic rendition, I believe, of her own creation, on a portable keyboard. She explained her passion for taping and mixing music over the weekend and playing it back to friends and relatives.

I know I have only talked about their passions so far, but I should also advise the Assembly that these presentations involved mostly real schoolwork, with detailed research and preparation skills in high demand. Students were required to explain each stage of their research, make formed reference notes, as well as indicate any assistance that was provided. Their presentations were some 10 pages of detailed notes and explanations.

We had to rank the participants on research detail, including references; physical presentation, dress, speech and eye contact; and preparedness to work outside the normal school regime. These students presented to the roundtable, I understand, during their day off.

The last presentation I could attend was provided by the school’s ace student. This web designer certainly knew his work. He provided clear explanations of his web design, real-time log on with his own graphics and showed us all how much fun it is to be a teenager in 2005.

I congratulate Helga Ratas, Calwell high school, its students and educators on a successful program.

We often pick up the daily paper only to see stories about wasted youth and the lack of substance they exhibit in this day and age. I have heard the adage “sullen youth” from those who ignore the real maturity and drive of our youth here in Canberra. Let me assure you all: if this group of forward-moving students and educators are anything to go by, we are all in for the time of our life. So get in, buckle up and enjoy the ride.

One place

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (6.10): I am delighted to take this opportunity to recount to the Assembly the great time I had recently launching a new Islamic film One place, during an event at the Canberra Islamic Centre. This film highlights the experience of three Muslim people—a schoolteacher, an artist and a forensic scientist. This was supported through the ACT government’s Canberra urban parks and places community partnership program.

The launch and its subsequent screening allowed me the opportunity to reflect on the diversity of Australian heritage and culture. In my opinion, as I have said previously in this place, a major strength of the Canberra community is its underlying tolerance of and respect for difference. The film clearly portrays the way in which migrants to Australia are assisted and supported in adjusting to life in Australia and, indeed, Canberra. It accurately reflects the sentiments of respect that I believe demonstrate a culture of acceptance and celebration of diversity.

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