Page 775 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 26 February 2013

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Last Friday, 22 February I had the pleasure of attending the St Mary MacKillop College 2013 opening mass. I always find this occasion a very inspirational event, and it once again exceeded expectations. Mr Michael Lee, the principal, welcomed the attendees—once again over the 2,000 mark—including Father John Armstrong, Father Lachlan Coll, Deacon Barclay, my colleague Zed Seselja, who has already spoken about the event, Gai Brodtmann MP and representatives of the Catholic Education Office as well as the Catholic University.

There was a wonderful presentation to Mrs Katherine Ray, principal of the new John Paul College in Gungahlin. The relationship between the two colleges obviously will carry on in future years.

I thank Mr Michael Lee and all his staff for once again inviting me to be part of the St Mary MacKillop College community on this, their special day. It is also worth putting on record that St Mary MacKillop College is a dynamic, welcoming community based on gospel values. It is a learning environment where excellence in education is valued. Members of the community are nurtured and empowered to face the future with faith and courage. Their mission, as stated on the school’s website, is that the curriculum at St Mary MacKillop College is undertaken in an environment where each person is valued and respected as an individual whose personal growth is of paramount importance. I wish Mr Michael Lee, his staff and his students all the best for this coming school year.

Old Bus Depot Markets

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (5.15): Tonight I highlight one of Canberra’s cultural, tourism and arts icons, the Old Bus Depot Markets. For a business that is open just one day a week, they have built up a huge reputation and have been recognised through a range of awards. The Old Bus Depot Markets have won the Australian tourism award for tourism retailing three years in a row. As a result, they were inducted into the Australian tourism hall of fame in 2006, alongside the War Memorial.

The markets will celebrate their 20th birthday next year, and I pay tribute to the market’s directors, Diane Hinds and Morna Whiting, who have steered the markets since they began and who have worked with hundreds of stallholders over that time. They have managed to keep the markets a dynamic business with constant renewal and new theme days.

The markets began in 1994 in the dilapidated old bus depot surrounded by similarly derelict, unwanted buildings in a then rundown and forgotten area next to the lake. The first depot buildings were built in the 1920s. Arguably, the heritage listed bus depot is still charmingly dilapidated. However, more work is planned to bring it up to scratch whilst maintaining its character. When the markets gain some permanency with a longer-term lease, there are innovations that they want to invest in as well.

From a once neglected part of Kingston, the markets are now at the centre of the Kingston arts precinct and the upmarket Kingston foreshore and harbour development.

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