Page 3565 - Week 08 - Thursday, 18 August 2011

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deal of money. So congratulations to Gay von Ess and Hilary Huggins, in particular, from Autism Asperger ACT.


DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (5.09): NAIDOC celebrations are held around Australia in July each year to celebrate the culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This year the theme was “Change: the next step is ours”, meaning that it is time to plan and take responsibility for the future.

NAIDOC recognises the survival of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and its contribution to modern Australia. The week is celebrated not just in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community but in increasing numbers in the wider community in government agencies, schools and workplaces. Taking part in NAIDOC Week is a great way to celebrate Indigenous Australian history, culture and achievements and build bridges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

In the ACT a NAIDOC ball and awards night has been held for over 30 years, and if you look at the ACT NAIDOC page on Facebook you can see all the photos from this year. There were many awards presented at the ball. The NAIDOC Person of the Year Award went to Jo Chivers in recognition of the outstanding community work she has carried out in the ACT, not only on behalf of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community but also the Canberra community more widely.

I was privileged to present Noel “Bomber” Ingram with his Elder of the Year award for his outstanding work with Boomanulla Oval and Aboriginal sporting and recreational activities. Other awards went to the following people: Youth of the Year, Joseph Kapeen; Sportsperson of the Year, Jacinta Williams; Scholar of the Year, Katrina Dart; Apprentice/Trainee of the Year, Justin Ling; Artist of the Year, Kerstin Styche; Organisation/Agency/Committee of the Year, the Aboriginal Corporation for Sporting and Recreational Activities, Boomanulla Oval; Non-Indigenous Person/Organisation’s Contribution to the Indigenous Community, Constable Rohan Smith; Caring for Country, Murumbung Yurung Murra; VET Indigenous Student of the Year, Haylee Hoolihan; and ACT Indigenous Community Sector Worker of the Year, Meg Huddleston.

I congratulate all these award winners on receiving this recognition and I would like to thank them again for the contribution they make to the Canberra community.

In the lead-up to NAIDOC Week and during NAIDOC Week itself, I was able to attend many functions. For example, I attended a special NAIDOC Week mass at St Benedict’s in Narrabundah, along with my Assembly colleague Mr Smyth. I spoke at an assembly at Telopea school and I visited Giralang primary school, where I viewed the NAIDOC Week art exhibition and I was privileged to see the whole-of-school welcome dance.

Giralang primary is particularly active in its support of its Indigenous students. On Monday this week, I was part of its new after-school program for Indigenous boys, “Strong Young Fellas”, which has been organised by Duncan Smith and Bill Bashford. This is another exciting innovation for an ACT school. Many other schools and

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