Page 994 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 29 March 2011

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I would also like to make brief mention of St Anthony’s primary school in Wanniassa, which I again had the pleasure of attending recently, on 15 March this year, to speak to all of the year 6 classes about leadership and other things. I have done that for the last few years. It is always a great pleasure to go to St Anthony’s. I grew up in the area, just up the road. I have had family members attend the school and was part of that parish growing up.

St Anthony’s primary school does a sensational job in promoting education, particularly Catholic education, in the Tuggeranong Valley. I would like to pay tribute to the principal, Tim Elliott; the assistant principal, Claudia Hale; and also the teachers who hosted me—Dee Dundov, Kathleen Galvin and Tim Stephens.

I would just like to comment on how well-behaved and receptive all the students were. They really do represent their school very well. They are a credit to their school community and to their families. It is therefore always a pleasure to go and speak to them but, more importantly, to hear what a lot of the students have to say and their views on politics, sport, leadership and all of the things that we discuss. So thank you again to each of those teachers and thank you to the St Anthony’s school community for making me feel very welcome once again.

Greek Independence Day celebrations

MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella) (5.17): Last Sunday just gone, 27 March, was a particularly interesting day for me. As shadow multicultural affairs minister, I joined members of the Canberra Greek community in their celebration of the 190th anniversary of Greek Independence Day. The celebration began at 8.30 am with a liturgy, followed by doxology at St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Kingston. Father George Karpis conducted the ceremony with Father Kon Kostakos from St Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Queanbeyan. This was followed by a wreath laying ceremony at the Hellenic Greek memorial on Anzac Parade, just across from the Australian War Memorial here in Canberra.

For those who have yet to visit the Hellenic memorial, I can certainly recommend a visit. The marble memorial recalls the shape of an amphitheatre amidst an olive grove, backed by cypress pines. The Doric column symbolises the birth of civilisation. The column is also embossed with the cross of the Greek Orthodox Church, representing a soldier’s grave. The wreath laying ceremony is conducted each year at this impressive memorial, with His Excellency Mr Alexios Christopoulos, the Greek Ambassador, delivering the opening address then starting the wreath laying ceremony. He is followed by other embassy officials as well as community representatives. It was my proud honour for the third year running to lay a wreath expressing the respects of the Canberra Liberals to the ACT Greek community at this solemn commemoration.

From the Hellenic memorial the 100 special guests adjourned to the Hellenic Club, where around 500 guests were there for the official lunch for the Greek Independence Day celebrations. The guests were introduced by MC Mr John Kalokerinos, and welcomed by the President of the Greek Orthodox Community and Church of Canberra and District Inc, Mr Paul Levantis. The guests included His Excellency

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