Page 544 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 8 March 2011

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including information resources, education support programs, transportation to and from hospital, a home away from home in the foundation’s fully-furnished accommodation close to major hospitals, and other practical and emotional support.

It is the only national not-for-profit organisation that is dedicated to the care and cure of patients and the families living with leukaemias, lymphomas, myeloma and related blood disorders. It also runs the “light the night” activity every year in September, which is well worth attending, in Glebe Park. There will be more hair cutting and shaving and colouring on Friday afternoon, so you might want to get along Mr Assistant Speaker, and colour those locks of yours.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Hargreaves): Been there, done that.

MR HANSON: I encourage everybody to get along and support that, because every hour somebody is diagnosed with one of those diseases and every two hours somebody dies. So anything that we can do, be it through supporting the activity by donating funds or getting behind the cause in any way we can, is to be encouraged.

On Sunday evening I attended the Australia Thailand Association autumn Thai dinner at the Lemon Grass Thai restaurant in Woden. I thank the president of the association, John Milne, for his invitation. Also in attendance was the Thai ambassador’s wife. Mr Coe was there, as was Annette Ellis, who is also a patron of the organisation.

I had the pleasure of sitting next to Dr Gillian McFeat, who is the President of the Heart Foundation, and her husband, Don. It was a great night. The Australia Thai Association does great work in fostering a relationship between our two countries. Looking on the association’s website, it shows that in 2006 in the Australian census 822 people living in the Canberra-Queanbeyan region were born in Thailand, which represented 0.22 per cent of the region’s population.

Australia is the most popular destination for Thai students currently studying abroad, with about 26,000 students currently in Australian educational institutions. This implies that in the next 20 years or so many senior government officials and business leaders could potentially be Australian educated. The number of Australians who visit Thailand for short-term stays increases consistently from year to year.

I would like to thank the association for everything that they do, and particularly the hard work that is done behind the scenes by the president, John Milne; the vice-president, Brian O’Keeffe; the secretary, Ms Aurea Sethaphanich; the treasurer, Ms Attaya Lane; the assistant secretary, Pamela Atkinson; and committee members Doug Gordon, Kitirat Panupong, Ms Jiraporn Prieto and Mr Peter Siripol.

National Ride to School Day

MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (4.53): I rise today to talk about encouraging bike riding. As I have only got 90 seconds I will only talk about part of it. Next Wednesday, 16 March is National Ride to School Day. It is Australia’s biggest celebration of riding and walking to school. This sort of thing is really important in a lot of ways. It makes kids fitter, healthier and more self-reliant and it gives them better connections

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