Page 903 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 27 February 2013

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It was a wonderful evening. There was a great account of cricket in the valley by Celine, the writer. She actually talked about personalities in the club and the people that have helped the club throughout all of these years. The club began in 1976, and this book highlights the major achievements in its formative years, from a juniors club right through to its inception in the city and suburban competition, the ACTCA grade competition and the first-ever grade premiership and the building of the clubhouse at Chisholm. The club itself has an excellent track record in progressing players through state and first-grade cricket, including the likes of Michael Bevan, Jason Behrendorff, Jason Flores and Tom Thornton.

It was a fantastic evening. I want to thank those people that attended, including Gai Brodtmann, the member for Canberra, Brendan Smyth and Ian McNamee. I just want to mention Ian. He is the president of ACT Cricket and he made a comment that evening that he remembers my father’s keen contribution to sport in the ACT. He finished off by saying my father was a bit of a rascal. That was good. Mark Vergano, the CEO of ACT Cricket was there, as was Bob Weight, the president of the Tuggeranong Valley Cricket Club. So congratulations to Celine and all of those at the Tuggeranong Valley Cricket Club on their launch of the book.

Branch Out Cafe

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (6.50): Tonight I rise to talk about one of the growing number of social enterprises in Canberra, the Branch Out Cafe in Holt. Social enterprises are businesses performing a great social role, providing a supportive environment and real work for people who might otherwise struggle to win a job. The social enterprise can be an end in itself or a stepping stone to work in the wider economy. Social enterprises come in many forms but are generally non-profit, with any income used to sustain the venture.

Another characteristic is social inclusion, bringing the marginalised into the world of work, raising their self-esteem and giving them a new identity and purpose. The enterprises might assist marginalised people who have a disability, an illness or have other barriers to employment such as little English or being long-term unemployed.

Social enterprises in Canberra include the six seeds pilot project whose first venture was making and selling rocky road sweets packaged for Valentine’s Day. Another is the mail business, JACKmail. There is Ink Cafe at Woden Library and the White Nile catering business run by women who arrived in Australia as refugees from Sudan. There is also Donkey Wash in Holt, the Recyclery, Paperworks, and No Sweat Fashions amongst many more.

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting five young people graduating in the Branch Out Cafe’s training and catering course in Holt. The Branch Out Cafe is staffed by young people overcoming their disabilities by learning about work, the cafe and the catering trade. At the graduation, the pride of Jackson Maritz, Tim Carr, Christopher Fowler, Kathleen Walczuk and Kayla Weis in their achievements was inspiring.

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