Page 424 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 12 February 2013
the Reverend Joy Bartholomew, the Senior Minister of the Presbyterian Church of St Andrew; the Reverend Gregor Henderson, Wesley Uniting Church; Captain Dale Murray, Communications and Public Relations Secretary, Salvation Army of ACT and southern New South Wales; Ms Deborah Packer, reader, Christian Science Canberra; Priest Seraphim Slade, the Acting Rector of the Russian Orthodox Church of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco; Pastor Sean Stanton, Senior Pastor of the Canberra Christian Life Centre and the National Secretary of the Australian Christian Churches; Monsignor John Woods, the administrator of the Catholic Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn. Also present were representatives from the Church of Christ, the Greek Orthodox Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
These leaders of the Canberra Christian community spoke wisely about the important place of religion in public life, and all members who attended, I am sure, would extend my thanks to them for their participation.
I would like to give particular thanks to the representatives of Canberra’s non-Christian faith and spiritual communities who participated: Mr Bill Arnold, a committee member of the ACT Jewish Community; Lama Choedak Rinpoche, the founder and spiritual leader of the region’s Tibetan Buddhists; and Ms Shephalie Williams, vice-president of the spiritual assembly of the ACT Baha’i Community. These leaders in our community spoke from their diverse cultural and spiritual backgrounds to truly pray for the wellbeing and good work of this Assembly. I would like to wholeheartedly thank them for their participation.
From the very outset I claimed that on this occasion this was to be a service in the Anglican tradition, but I dearly hope that other faiths and spiritualities or Christian denominations will host similar services in the future. I have commenced discussions with Dean Sahu Khan, the president of the Canberra Interfaith Forum, so that we may meet and discuss how future services might celebrate further the diversity of faith and the role that plays in our community and the lives of the people of the ACT.
This service, for those who attended, was an uplifting experience and gave a whole section of our community access to members of the ACT Legislative Assembly, or at least to those who chose to attend.
Atlas of Living Australia
MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (5.24): I rise tonight to advise the Assembly about a recent visit I had to the CSIRO, where I was introduced to a new open resource there called the Atlas of Living Australia. It is a web-based resource. Members of the community or scientists can log onto the resource and look at and study individual species right across Australia. You can explore by species, by location and by natural history collections. You can map the species and find analysis there. You can look at data sets and field data software. It was Dr John La Salle, the Director of the Atlas of Living Australia, who introduced the program.
As I said, it is an open source environmental encyclopaedia. Prior to the atlas, the data was stored in many different organisations and had not been collated. That created a