Page 3634 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 25 August 2009
forward to the work that the vice-chancellor and his staff are doing. We thank them for hosting us. Ms Inga Davis was our host, along with the vice-chancellor and a number of senior staff. It was a great pleasure to be there. I commend them on a lot of the wonderful work that is being done there.
I would also like to briefly mention that Mr Doszpot and I—and you, Ms Porter—attended the ACT Ethnic Schools Association dinner on Saturday night. I did not have the opportunity to stay right through but I did have the opportunity to address the dinner. It is a wonderful part of our community—the ethnic schools. I certainly had the opportunity as a youngster to go to an ethnic school. It was not always something that I wanted to do, but I am sure it was very good for me. It is very good for young people to have that connection with the culture of their parents and their grandparents. Sometimes kids have to be dragged along to some of these things.
I really want to pay tribute to Javad Mehr and the Ethnic Schools Association for the work they do in the community and the work they do in preserving and helping our ethnic communities to preserve the links with their culture through language and the teaching of culture. I think it is sensational. I think it is a very important part of our community. We have a wonderful multicultural community in Canberra. It is an example to not only the rest of the country but also the rest of the world in bringing different cultures together—not having them isolated from one another but having them as part of the community. I pay tribute to the Ethnic Schools Association. Their dinner is always a good night. I was there last year as well, and we had a great time. They always show us wonderful hospitality. I thank them once again for the work that they do.
I would also briefly like to add my words to those of Mr Coe in relation to Dr Nelson. I have found Dr Nelson to be one of the more decent characters to deal with in politics in Australia. I think he is a genuinely decent and good person. He is a very hardworking local member and was a hardworking leader. I think he took over the leadership during what was clearly a very difficult time after a change of government after almost 12 years in office.
Dr Nelson needs to be commended not just for the way that he handled himself during that difficult time but for the way he has handled himself since losing the leadership. I think he is a man of great character. He is a man who I personally enjoyed meeting and speaking with. He is a very decent individual. I wish him all the best in his retirement. I am sure that he has a lot more to offer to Australian life. I am sure we have not seen the last of Dr Nelson. I just put it on the record that I think he has served his community very well. I personally have found him one of the most decent people to deal with in public life. I would like to join with Mr Coe in paying tribute to him for the contribution he has made to Australian public life.
Question resolved in the affirmative.