Page 1726 - Week 05 - Tuesday, 3 May 2011

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Rod Menzies, and president-elect, Lynton Dixon. Other executive members include Len Glare—a past president—Des Walsh, Teresa Dickinson, Mary Cruickshank, Rod Gardiner, Neil James, Michael King, Peter Oldham and Peter Kain.

The Rotary Club of Belconnen is active in the local community and undertakes many projects throughout Belconnen, the region and overseas. This year the club’s main projects include a Rotary youth program of enrichment, which helps young people broaden their horizons culturally, socially and academically; the Murray-Darling School of Freshwater Research in Albury; the National Youth Science Forum, a two-week course in January each year for students from all over Australia who are interested in a science career; study scholarships to ANU, CIT, UC and the Canberra Rep; Rotary youth leadership awards, which provide leadership training seminars for young adults; Christmas hampers, which are distributed through local churches and charities; replacement library books for Marysville school, which were destroyed in the Victorian bushfires; the shelterbox and aquabox emergency kits, which are sent to areas of natural disasters, including overseas; the “end polio now” campaign, an international Rotary project to eliminate polio from the world; and the Kintore project—a project in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Woden to provide a dialysis treatment facility for the western desert people in the Northern Territory. Since 1974 the club has raised over $4 million from its weekly trash and treasure market at the Jamison centre car park.

Community groups like Rotary punch above their weight. They undertake tasks for our community that often governments could not do even with limitless funds because governments cannot buy commitment, they cannot buy dedication and they cannot buy the goodwill that such organisations exhibit on a daily basis. I commend the club for their 40 years of service and I thank them for their continued commitment to serve our community.


MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (3.21): I rise today to reflect briefly on the trip that I took with Mrs Dunne and Mr Kiermaier to Kiribati at the beginning of April. And it was a truly fascinating trip. As members would be aware, we are twinned with the Kiribati parliament. We formed a parliamentary delegation. The decision has been made that once in each term of the Assembly we should visit our twin. It was fascinating from a number of points of view.

I might start off with, I suppose, the most obvious one applicable to us. We visited the House of Assembly and we read their standing orders. There are a number of things which I think we could learn from them. The first, I guess, is the absolute total silence in which all the speeches are delivered. It was absolutely stunning, I have to say, as someone who has been here for a couple of years. I think that both of my fellow visitors would agree with me that it was a very different atmosphere.

Something else that was done, which I think we could look at but which I suspect will not actually happen, is that they have afternoon tea together at 4 o’clock. Everyone stops for half an hour. And it is not just a cup of tea. They have cakes. They have sushi. They have a substantial meal. I thought that was a very friendly, collegiate way

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