Page 4641 - Week 12 - Thursday, 15 October 2009
Tanzanians. As she said to the delegates to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association meeting, she hopes that she is educating the future leaders of Tanzania. The students are learning Swahili, English, mathematics—the range of courses that one would expect to find in any modern education system. All of this is done through the hard work of Gemma and her family and the committed donations of people in Australia.
With respect to the students of St Jude’s that I met, any school principal would be proud to have such fine young people, so well turned out and so articulate and able to talk about their school. I pay tribute to Gemma and all those people who participate in and donate to St Jude’s school. Sometime in November, Gemma will be in Australia on a fundraising speaking tour. If people have an opportunity to find out more about St Jude’s school, they should take that opportunity.
On a smaller scale, I came across a tour company that I used called Maasai Wanderings. One of the reasons that prompted us to use this tour company was that they pay a proportion of their profits to a Maasai village, where the proprietors of the company are progressively building school buildings and also providing a range of employment opportunities for otherwise poverty stricken Maasai farmers. It was interesting to visit this village and to be shown the new preschool buildings, kindergarten buildings, built by Maasai Wanderings by their donations, from the proceeds of the tours that they operate, and also to be shown where the children previously went to school under a thorn tree in the grass. The next project is to build a kitchen and a dining room for the students so that they can ensure that the students who attend school are well nourished.
This initiative is run by a lady by the name of Donna Duggan, who also, coincidentally, is a Queenslander. I think that we should pay tribute to the great work of Australians, not just at home but overseas, who address the issues of poverty on a regular basis, with so little fanfare and often with very little hope of reward.
On another matter, I draw members’ attention to the fact that the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal will move in to its new premises on 4 November. I suppose it will be a great day but it will be eight months after the ACAT was established and many months after the minister committed to having the premises finished. I think it should have been completed in June and it will now be in November, eight months after the commencement of the ACAT. I think this is an unfortunate start for ACAT and does not actually bear very well on the minister’s capacity to do things on time and on budget.
Question resolved in the affirmative.