Page 5384 - Week 14 - Thursday, 19 November 2009

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Carrie Graf, coach of the Australian Opals and the Canberra Capitals, was the guest speaker at the fundraiser, and I must commend her also for her contribution at such worthwhile fundraisers. This is the second such function I have attended over the past two weeks, and Carrie was a major contributor through her presence at both events. I am sure she attends quite a few other such community events each week, and she is a wonderful ambassador for her sport and the Canberra community.

Also in attendance was Andy Campbell, legendary Canberra Cannon and Australian Boomer, who donated his Boomers playing strip and some Cannons memorabilia for auction. The fundraising evening was attended by around 80 people and raised around $6,000 for the ACT Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Canberra Symphony Orchestra

MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (6.15): I rise tonight to talk in appreciation of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra. One of the pleasures and privileges of becoming an MLA is the invitations we receive to a large number of events, including the Canberra Symphony Orchestra concerts, which I have been lucky enough to be able to go to—not all of them, but many of them. I have seen Mr Coe and Mrs Dunne there.

Classical music has not been one of my strongest loves—let me put it that way—but I have certainly gained a much greater appreciation of it during the year, especially some of the more, I guess, accessible parts. We are very lucky in Canberra, being really such a comparatively small place, to have such an incredibly high quality orchestra that performs for us on a regular basis. I would particularly like to pay tribute to Matthew Lendrum, who seems to sort of do everything and is an incredibly enthusiastic young man, and Henry Laska, who, of course, is the CEO.

I guess it is also one of the big advantages we get from having the ANU, and more particularly the School of Music, as part of Canberra, as obviously the orchestra draw heavily on the expertise from the School of Music. It has been a pleasure to go to all of the events that I have been able to go to and I look forward to attending more in the future—and probably seeing some more of you there as well.

West Belconnen Health and Wellbeing Cooperative Ltd

Ms Gemma Sisia

Miss Saigon

Dancing in the Desert

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (6.17): I think I am going to do the arts round-up as well, but before I do I would like to add my words of congratulation to Ms Porter’s words of congratulation. It was a wonderful experience to attend the annual general meeting of the West Belconnen Health and Wellbeing Cooperative last night and to know that, within a few short weeks, they will be occupying the space with doctors and nurses and that we will have a functioning medical practice. It is an inspiring model and I hope that in the future we will see other models like it.

I also want to echo the words of Mr Seselja in relation to Gemma Sisia and St Jude school. As I said, I think, in this place when I returned from Tanzania, I had the

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