Page 5385 - Week 14 - Thursday, 19 November 2009

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privilege of meeting Gemma there and also the inestimable privilege of meeting some of her students, who were bright, articulate and enthusiastic. I suppose it is part of the Tanzanian nature to be bright and outgoing and extremely welcoming. I did not have an opportunity to visit the school as some of my colleagues did, but I understand that it was quite an experience and, if members are thinking of wanting to make a difference in Africa, I would suggest that that would be a worthy cause to support.

Mr Coe earlier this week touched on Miss Saigon and I can only echo his high praise for Miss Saigon and the work done by the Phoenix Players and Supa Productions. Miss Saigon is a very difficult production to put on, and this was exemplified by the fact that at some stage, towards the end, you actually have to have a helicopter land on the stage. I noticed that Bill Stephens in the City News had high praise for the chopper and its landing during the production. It was an astounding performance and an astounding production by an amateur cast.

Also last week I had the opportunity of attending the concert given by Salut! Baroque. The founding members and the artistic directors are Sally Melhuish and Tim Blomfield. They are the sort of grunt behind this great baroque orchestra and they gave a fantastic concert in Llewellyn Hall which was part of their series. While the core of their organisation is based in Canberra, they also perform a concert series, one night in Sydney and the following night in Canberra, throughout the year. Their last concert this year was a program of Italian baroque music which was extraordinary—Scarlatti, Corelli, Cesti and others—and the highlight of the evening was the fantastic vocal work of the counter tenor, Tobias Cole.

Also on Saturday I had the opportunity of going to the opening of Carmel McCrow’s Dancing in the Desert at the Belconnen Arts Centre. Ms McCrow’s images of the Australian desert are an exemplary delight. She works with oils, pencils, pastels and acrylics. She has a very light touch and does some very high quality painting but also some quirky pieces that show her individuality as an artist. Her work was set off beautifully in the exhibition room at the Belconnen Arts Centre.

Members have spoken during the week in this chamber about their arts experiences. It shows just how rich the artistic endeavours of Canberrans are and how rich our experience can be. We should be ever grateful to the people in the Canberra arts community who make it possible. Many of them do it on a shoestring. Many of them are amateurs and they do it for the love of the artistic endeavour. Even professional artists in this town often are not paid very much at all. I commend them all, and we in the Assembly should support them as much as possible.

Orienteering ACT

Mr Michael Hodgman QC MP

MR COE (Ginninderra) (6.22): I rise today to commend one of the great sporting organisations that operate here in the territory, Orienteering ACT. In an Orienteering ACT leaflet entitled “Welcome to orienteering”, the sport is described as:

like a ‘car-less’ motor rally where the participant provides the motor power and does the navigating. Orienteering is unique in the opportunities it offers as a competitive sport, a compelling recreation, a healthy form of cardiovascular exercise and an exciting component of education.

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