Page 3311 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

attended a service of thanksgiving on 14 May this year at Old Parliament House, which the Chief Minister spoke at. It was an incredibly moving service. It was a service for transplant recipients and for family members or friends of people who had lost their lives and donated organs, a service of remembrance and thanksgiving for what these people had given in giving life to someone else but also for family members and friends to be able to remember these people who had lost their lives and donated organs.

We heard at this service from a family who had lost a brother and a son. I think they were incredibly brave to get up and tell their story, which would have been an extremely hard thing to do. We also heard from people who had received organs about what it meant to them in terms of really changing their life. And I think it was a reminder, and I think it should be a reminder for everyone, of how important organ donation is and that when family members do put this down as a request it should be recognised and honoured by family members and how important it is to people in terms of giving life.

I also attended, along with Ms Porter, Mr Doszpot and Mr Rattenbury, the opening of the Canberra Multicultural Environment Garden, which was led by the Canberra Interfaith Forum. The purpose of creating this garden, which is, incidentally, near Clare Holland House, is to promote environmental protection and sustainable living in Canberra, to encourage meditation on environmental heritage and caring for it, to enable hospice visitors to experience calm and harmony in nature, to promote mental and spiritual healing and multicultural reconciliation and to strengthen interfaith and multicultural links among all spiritual traditions.

The garden was supported by a number of groups and it was wonderful to see a wide variety of groups supporting the creation of this garden. They included the United Ngunnawal Elders Council, ACT Palliative Care Inc, the Little Company of Mary, the ACT Mental Health Foundation and the Mental Health Community Coalition. I congratulate everyone involved on creating this wonderful resource for the ACT.

I also attended a couple of months ago the opening of the Mix it Up exhibition, which celebrated the World Day of Cultural Diversity, at the Tuggeranong Arts Centre. The exhibition was opened by the minister, Joy Burch. It was an excellent exhibition provided by people from around the world and, as the brochure states, it highlighted their cultural experiences. They included Rosalind Lemonh from Sierra Leone, Mariana del Castillo from Ecuador, Ying Zhang from China, Reynaldo Valera from Cuba and Duncan Smith who is an Aboriginal artist.

As I said, it was a wonderful opportunity for these people to share their stories and explore cultural identities. It was about bringing different communities together and sharing that through art. I congratulate everyone involved at the Tuggeranong Arts Centre on putting together this wonderful exhibition.

Very quickly, another event I attended in June was a variety concert in aid of Arthritis ACT. It was held at the Austrian Australian Club in Mawson and involved performances by the Austrian Choir and the Forrest National Chamber Orchestra. The event was emceed by Tony Holland. I would like to acknowledge at this stage the

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video