Page 1168 - Week 03 - Thursday, 22 March 2012

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The Japanese program thus contributes to the University of Canberra in a unique way, well beyond the boundaries of the faculty. The program internationalises campus culture, fosters Asian language and culture literacy among students, creates business opportunities with Japanese universities, enhances student satisfaction scores and enhances the attractiveness of UC to potential students.

I would like to acknowledge a student of the program, Andrew Seach, who was instrumental in starting the petition, and also the lecturers of the program, Dr Yuko Kinoshita and Dr Nicolette Bramley, who do a wonderful job in teaching this program at UC. I do hope that it stays a part of the UC program and its courses.

Canberra Seniors Centre

MR HANSON (Molonglo) (4.49): I rise tonight to recognise the Canberra Seniors Centre. Recently the board of management of the Canberra Seniors Centre wrote to me inviting me to attend a birthday lunch on Thursday, 8 March, which I did, at their centre at 10 Watson Street in Turner. Their monthly lunch celebrates the birthdays that occur in that month for their members and offers those members a free lunch.

I was invited to make a speech to the Seniors Centre on my portfolio of health, which I did, but throughout questions I went into other matters. A broad range of issues were discussed, and there was great interest shown by the members of the Seniors Centre in the matters of the Assembly.

I would like to thank the club president, David Rymer, for his invitation, and I thank Patricia Gration, the welfare officer and CEO, and Gabe, whom I sat with at lunch.

A number of activities took place, including the singing of a number of songs. It was an Irish theme, so a number of people were wearing green on the day. Certainly there was a significant Irish theme to the singing. I note that most of the songs contained a reference to a rose or roses; I do not know if that was intentional or not. It was a fantastic lunch, very well catered, and enjoyed by all the members of the Seniors Centre.

Of the issues discussed one that warrants particular attention is the issue of parking. Attendance at the Seniors Centre is a monthly occasion for the members; it gives them an opportunity to get out and about, socialise and meet up with their mates. Unfortunately, because of the parking situation in Turner, it is very difficult for many members to get out and participate: either they cannot find a park or they have to park so far away that for these elderly members, many of whom have a number of disabilities, it is very difficult to do so.

It just highlights that, for people who do not have access to public transport and for people such as seniors who need the security of their motor vehicles, if we do not have adequate parking in our cities, in our city centre and in other areas, our elderly, our senior citizens, in this case, as we see, are denied the ability to get out, socialise and participate in this regular event that provides such a good venue where they can meet up with their friends and colleagues. I raise that as an issue; it is one that I will be following up.

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