Page 3561 - Week 08 - Thursday, 18 August 2011

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The competition, an initiative of the Australian Medical Association ACT’s tobacco task force, is a great initiative, as I said. I believe that it is also great for these year 8 students who can exercise their design and art skills in real-life situations. Until the day I did this little event for the Chief Minister, I was totally unaware that Michael Bryce, who started his career as an architect, crossed over to graphic art later in his life and ran a successful graphics concern for many years.

I congratulate Sophie and the other students who were there on the day and who also were recognised for their work as finalists.

To go to my second topic, I recently joined over 200 other volunteers from the ACT and region to take part in the tree planting by Greening Australia for National Tree Day at the lower Cotter. Over 3,000 seedlings were planted on the day there; volunteers also enjoyed a session with Adrian Brown, a “Caring for Ngunnawal country” ranger from ACT parks and conservation, who shared some of his expert knowledge about how traditional custodians have managed the land for centuries.

National Tree Day is an Australia-wide event, with over 240,000 volunteers all over the country working together to plant over one million trees. It has been very popular since 1996, when it was cofounded by Olivia Newton-John and Planet Ark. Greening Australia is a wonderful organisation, which does tremendous work in the ACT and throughout Australia. It is a wonderful experience to go up there in the Cotter, which I frequently do. You get out there in the open air; you join lots of family groups, young people, corporate groups and also the scouts, who come out regularly to prepare the well-received barbecue after all the hard work of all the digging and the planting. And of course our wonderful ACT Fire Brigade come out and help us and supply the water for us to water all the plants, which is important once we have planted them.

I was pleased to go out there, and I will continue to do so. I encourage all members in this place to take part in these wonderful events. They are always advertised on the Greening Australia website. As I say, you will have some exercise; you will feel better about yourself because you have contributed to the environment a little bit; and you will meet a lot of fine people out there. I encourage everyone to get out there on a regular basis, as they can.

Malkara school

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (4.57): I would like to bring to the attention of members the 39th annual Malkara model railway and scale model exhibition which was held on Saturday, 6 and Sunday, 7 August. This year was the 39th and, of course, next year will be the 40th. It is one of the great, I think, relationships between an ACT school and a community group. That it has lasted that long is quite astounding in a city that is not much older itself. To quote from the inside of the brochure:

We have begun planning some wild and wonderful ways to celebrate this partnership and all the benefits it brings our school.

It is the school’s 40th birthday next year, so make sure you put it in your diaries. It is normally the first weekend in August every year.

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