Page 4126 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 16 Sept 2009

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The Canberra Friends of Dili also provide in-country support for Dili-based project officers and a local representative. They have also partnered with Engineers Without Borders to build a water supply for the primary and secondary schools, and they have financially supported students to complete schooling at the Don Bosco technical college. With a matched donation from the Canberra Lake Tuggeranong Leo Club, they have supported the development of a youth group in Matadouro, which is building a basketball court and holding English and computing classes for young people.

The Canberra Friends of Dili will continue their tireless work into the future with plan to build basketball and volleyball facilities at three schools in Dili through the mangement of an Australian government sports development grant. They will provide equipment and library materials to the East Timor institute of business, while participating in the development of a proposal for a cultural exchange program between street art groups from Canberra and Dili.

I would also like to mention the critical work conducted by the Ryder-Cheshire Foundation, which works to relieve the suffering among people who are sick, disabled or destitute, without regard to age, race or religion. Since 2000, the Ryder-Cheshire Foundation of Australia has supported a low dependency healthcare facility in East Timor. Patients awaiting or recovering from surgery, suffering from TB or malnutrition and those requiring physiotherapy are referred by Hospital National in Dili and from many health clinics. Village-based outreach programs assist children with disabilities, provide diagnosis and treatment for those suffering from TB, and offer health and hygiene training.

Because the Canberra Friends of Dili is a community-based NGO which is creating education, sporting and community links between the Canberra and Dili communities, and because the Ryder-Cheshire Foundation is run totally by unpaid volunteers and, by keeping their administrative costs to the absolute minimum all the money that is donated reaches the people it is intended for, I encourage the members of the Assembly and the Canberra community to attend the fundraising dinner on Friday, 25 September at the Federal Golf Club in Red Hill. I am sure this will be a lovely evening that will give Canberra a chance to raise money for such an important cause and also to support our sister city relationship with Dili.

Robert Gordon Menzies Walk

MR COE (Ginninderra) (6.51): I am very pleased to see that stage 2 of the Robert Gordon Menzies Walk along Lake Burley Griffin has been officially opened today. Stage 2 of the walk is a five-kilometre stretch along the northern shore of the lake, running past the National Capital Exhibition and Commonwealth Park. It is an integral part of the Canberra bike and footpath network and provides a route for community recreation around the lake. The path has been reconstructed to be a 4.5 metre wide path and also features information points about the significance of the walkway.

The walk is named in honour of Australia’s longest serving and first Liberal Prime Minister, Sir Robert Gordon Menzies. Sir Robert served as Prime Minister between

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