Page 1489 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 28 March 2012

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

centre was the dominant player of the competition, leading the league in scoring, steals and rebounds to help her Adelaide team to a WNBL preliminary finals berth.

Suzy has also represented the Opals. She has also played in the Women’s National Basketball Association in the United States with the Seattle Storm. She has been a great contributor to Australian basketball and she has been a great contributor to basketball here in Canberra. I would just like to pay tribute to what is a wonderful achievement for Suzy Batkovic. It is one that I am sure not only she is very proud of; I know members of her family are also very proud of her.

Riding for Cambodian Kids

MS BRESNAN (Brindabella) (6.40): Yesterday Michael Milton, a world champion cyclist and winner of six Paralympic gold medals, provided support to a group of local riders who are cycling from Canberra to Melbourne to raise money to build a school in Soskan village, Cambodia. The challenge of a gruelling 660-kilometre bike ride is being taken up by a group of Canberra cyclists to bring the empowering gift of education to more than 1,000 children in the Cambodian village of Soskan.

This is the second cycle challenge to benefit these children. Last year the group rode from Canberra to Sydney, raising $3,000 for Soskan village. This year the ride aims to raise more money to help the Cambodian Kids Foundation complete the construction of one of the largest public schools in a country where the illiteracy rate is 30 per cent. The school is scheduled for completion in May 2012 and until then local children are attending a temporary school with limited facilities.

On 17 April, the 12 Canberra riders will set out for Melbourne along the Hume Highway, including the steep inclines en route to Albury-Wodonga. The journey has been inspired by the friendship which began between Canberra student Georgia Turnbull and a young Cambodian guide when they cycled 1,000 kilometres from Bangkok to Phnom Penh and on to Ho Chi Minh City.

Along the ride Georgia discovered that her good humoured Cambodian cycling companion, Sambat Pich, supports 14 young children whose parents are unable to care for them. Sambat believes that he has the capacity to provide for these children because he was given an education. At school he learned to speak English fluently and is now able to earn a living. Sambat was determined to learn the English language because it was his passport to employment. Ultimately he wants to give Cambodian children the same opportunities through education. He hopes that by sending his 14 children to school he will make a huge difference to their lives.

Back in Canberra, inspired by Sambat’s passion, Georgia contacted the Cambodian Kids Foundation, which was established by a Victorian family and is led by 22-year-old Sam Cooper. In the once impoverished Soskan village, the foundation is changing lives through its support for transformational projects led by local people. Houses have been built, a childcare centre and a health centre constructed and fresh water systems installed throughout the village. The foundation is run solely by volunteers, the majority of whom are under the age of 25. Foundation director Sam Cooper says the construction of the 1,000-student school in Soskan is by far the foundation’s most ambitious project yet.

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