Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 13 October 2009) . . Page.. 4391 ..
as Hungary and Korea share a very distant ethnic linkage. Dr Song and I formed a strong friendship. I have been an admirer of Korean wisdom, culture and spirit ever since.
In 2001, I was the leader of a study commissioned by the Australian government that looked at ways to strengthen the bilateral economic partnership between Australia and South Korea. Through this study I discovered the many areas where South Korea was becoming a world leader, such as the take-up of broadband that resulted in broadband services reaching 72 per cent of all South Korean households. The rate was many times higher than in any country at the time. Today South Korea still has the world’s highest number of broadband services, with nearly 85 per cent of Korean households being broadband subscribers.
In 2002, I observed with admiration how South Korea utilised the massive power of international football, chook-goo as they call it. Through the 2002 FIFA World Cup they managed a rebranding of South Korea to the rest of the world as South Korea created football history by becoming the first Asian nation to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup. The Korean Red Devils, coached by Guus Hiddink, captured the hearts and minds of not only the Korean fans but also the huge global television audience that was captivated by their courageous performances. Australia followed South Korea’s lead as we engaged Guus Hiddink for the 2006 World Cup and also created history with the Socceroos’ courageous performance.
In my capacity as shadow minister for multicultural affairs in the ACT, I was also particularly pleased to extend my personal congratulations and best wishes to the Korean community as they gave thanks to their ancestors for the year’s bountiful harvests and observed their strong traditions. I also thanked them for allowing me to share this special occasion with them, as I also proudly share with them our exciting journey of migrant experience.
In Canberra we have a strong and vibrant South Korean-Australian community of around 3,000 people, who have a deep and abiding love of their motherland and also are important contributors to Canberra and our wider multicultural community. They all share experiences and stories of courage and initiative. Their contributions to their new homeland have affected quite considerably the social, cultural, scientific, artistic, business and sporting life of our present-day Australia, including our own Canberra community. All of us newcomers to this proud land have found peace, freedom and opportunities while a direct contribution has been energy, work ethic, values and traditions.
I was in the company of several prominent Korean and other friends at the function—Dr Woo Sang Kim, the Korean ambassador to Australia, Mr Ju Yong Cho, the president of the ACT Korean community, and Mr and Mrs Keith Lee. Mr Lee was a former president of the ACT Korean community. My colleague Alistair Coe was also in attendance.
I would like to finish by offering my colleagues in the Assembly the Korean greeting which I actually read out in Korean on the night. I will not test the services of Hansard by having them transcribe my Korean, but the Korean message we gave was: “Be