Page 422 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 12 February 2013

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I know that both Mr Doszpot and Mr Wall were part of a team of volunteers. I was very happy to go and help out for a couple of hours and really try and help raise the profile and some money for Menslink in the ACT. It was a very successful day.

In November last year I joined a group of volunteers from Lakecare ACT at a working bee on Springbank Island in Lake Burley Griffin, tackling invasive woody weeds on the island. The activity was supported by the Canberra Yacht Club, who helped transport the team to the island. The working bee was organised by RiverSmart Australia, who are a not-for-profit organisation supporting the effective management and restoration of our river systems.

Their local chapter, Lakecare ACT, is doing a great job raising community awareness about the state of our lakes and waterways here in the ACT. They are organising hands-on activities such as the working bees as well as community information and education resources such as the outdoor and floating classrooms which they launched last year.

The event at Springbank Island was very successful; I dare say there will be some more. In the course of about three hours, with 20 or so volunteers, we only cleared a few metres of the shore of the woody weeds, so there is a big job left to do out there. But some who have noticed Spinnaker Island, just across the way, which has been cleared and is now in the process of recovery from the invasive weeds, will know that there is a visible difference and one that will make a contribution to improving the water quality in the lake over time.

Also last year I was happy to host an exhibition at the Assembly called Debt of Honour, a tribute to Australia’s commandos in Timor in World War II and the debt owed to the Timorese people who courageously supported them. It was put together by the Canberra Friends of Dili with the support and sponsorship of the Australian War Memorial and the Victorian Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Assistance in staging the exhibition was provided by the Radford College Parents and Friends Association, and it was officially launched by Reverend Richard Browning, chaplain of Radford College.

It was a very fascinating exhibition for anyone who managed to see it while they were passing through the Assembly at that stage of the year. Certainly I learnt something about Australia’s military history that I had previously been unaware of—the significant contribution by Australia’s commandos in Timor in World War II and the difficult tasks they faced. It was a fascinating piece of history.

I was very pleased to host the exhibition following on from my predecessors in the ACT Greens who have supported the people of East Timor—with Kerrie Tucker, in particular, sponsoring the establishment of the Canberra Friends of Dili group and supporting the Dili-Canberra friendship city relationship which was entered into by the former Chief Minister, Jon Stanhope.

Finally, I want to note that on 1 December, along with Mr Gentleman, I helped to launch the fourth Canberra International Electric Vehicle Festival in Civic. I think this

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