Page 2896 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 5 August 2008

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with which they came and spent time in our city. Like Mr Mulcahy, I think that they generally had a good experience. Both here and in Sydney, I think that the experience of World Youth Day did show Australians generally what a fine young group of people the youth of Australia and the youth of the world can represent.

On the day after World Youth Day, I attended a meeting of women members of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association in the New South Wales parliament. It was interesting that somebody remarked that the extraordinarily good behaviour that we saw at World Youth Day was at the other end of the spectrum to what we often see in Australia when we see large groups of youth, such as during Schoolies Week.

No-one was arrested; no-one was cautioned for doing anything wrong; there was no drunkenness; there was probably very little consumption of alcohol. This was remarked upon time and time again during the time that I was in Sydney, both when attending World Youth Day functions and events and afterwards, by people who were more observers than participants.

As someone said to me the other day, the hardest thing the police had to do that week was pose for photographs and point where the toilets were. It must have been a great experience for policemen to be in a situation where they were appreciated and treated well by large groups, because often when you get large groups of people together it is a shame that sometimes people do not behave so well. To the organisers in the ACT and to the sterling organisation in Sydney, congratulations. Not everything goes smoothly, but it was a great testament to the organisational skills and commitment of Australians—not just Catholics but Australians at large—to make sure that this happened.

Another smaller event which needs some recognition is one that I had the privilege of attending at the Belconnen Community Theatre last Friday night, a performance of Twelfth Night by Mad World Productions in association with Baptist Community Services. Here again, a group of young people are taking the bard, in modern dress and in a modern production of a well-loved play, with almost no adult intervention. There were a couple of adult players to play some of the older roles, but for the most part the cast was quite young and in their teens.

It was an extraordinarily good production, with some very fine performances from some young actors. I think it was a shame that they had such a small house. I hope that they had better houses on Saturday night. When you see a group of 20 or 30 people putting together a production like that and working very hard on a very professional production, it is a shame that they do not get more support from the community. Next time we see Mad World Productions in association with Baptist Community Services taking Shakespeare out into the suburbs, we should patronise them, because they did a fantastic job.

World Youth Day

Gas-fired power station

MR PRATT (Brindabella) (5.33): I will take a quick opportunity, too, to congratulate the World Youth Day festival here and in Sydney. Who could not be impressed with the fact that, as Mrs Dunne pointed out, so many young people had such a damn good time without having to drink in the process—or, at least, not apparently so.

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