Page 4594 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 18 October 2011

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Staff from The Big Issue will be assisting with the management of the competition and a group of Street Soccer players from our Canberra program will be attending the event, with one player being encouraged to join in each team.

It is my pleasure to report to the Assembly that we did get an Assembly team together. We sent the invitation out, and there were all sorts of excuses offered from our colleagues in the Assembly as to why they could not make it. I think Ms Porter was overseas at the time, so we will accept that excuse. I think Mr Barr was playing netball on the day in another part of the tournament, and the Speaker, Mr Rattenbury, unfortunately sustained an injury. So it ended up that only Zed Seselja and I were able to play in the team, but we managed to coerce or deputise quite a number of people from the community to assist our team, and I would like to thank them for their contribution to our game.

The first person I would like to mention is Warren Daly, who was one of the street soccer people that were included in every one of the teams that competed. We had Simon Hinde from the Woden Valley Soccer Club; Njgosh Popovic, a former Cosmos player; Manuel Notaras from Caph’s restaurant, also quite a notable soccer player back in his day; Louie Seselja, who is Zed’s father; and Nathan Galea, who is also a member of the wider Seselja family.

The ACT Assembly team finished in second place in our group, with the highlight of our afternoon being the hard-earned win of Senator Stephen Conroy’s federal parliamentary team. Then we played off for the secondary title and beat the Iranian embassy team by five goals to three to finish in overall third place. The win was particularly significant as we trailed two-nil before levelling the scores and eventually winning.

Soccer tragics with long memories will recall the famous encounter of Iran against Australia in a World Cup qualifying match in 1997 where Australia led two-nil before Iran levelled the score and eliminated Australia from the France World Cup in 1998. So the ACT Assembly did sort of level the ledger.

The tournament was won by Latin America in a closely fought match against Capital Football Canberra, who finished in second place. So all in all it was a great day of football, and Andy Turnbull, the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Parliament Sports Club, needs to be congratulated.

Another event that I had the great pleasure of attending a few weeks ago was the Wakakirri finals which were held just across at the Canberra Theatre. Wanniassa junior school campus won the main prize of the night. They finished first, winning the ACT story-dance division 2 finals, which has now short-listed them for the national Wakakirri Prize where the school will compete against nine other primary schools across Australia for the accolade, with the winner to be announced later on in the year.

My compliments to the teachers of Wanniassa junior school and executive teacher Andrew Bruesnel, who said that the prize was the ultimate one to win and that he was

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