Page 1508 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 10 April 2013

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opening of federal parliament in 1927. There was also an air strip at Dickson. However, the Duntroon site won out, with lasting influence on the growth of Canberra to the east. Air force units were first stationed in Canberra in World War II. The aerodrome was renamed Fairbairn in honour of air minister James Fairbairn killed nearby in the Hudson bomber crash in 1940. The Chief of the General Staff, four air crew and two other ministers, veterans of World War I, also died.

Before the horrors of World War I, Griffin had envisaged a casino of public playgrounds on the site where the Australian War Memorial opened in 1941. In the aftermath of World War II, the Queen opened the American War Memorial in the linked paddock at Russell Hill in 1954. Soon after, Prime Minister Menzies ordered the defence department’s various administration headquarters to start the move from Melbourne to Canberra. The completion of the Russell Hill offices in 1964 also completed the transfer of Defence to Canberra and the influx of thousands of defence personnel and their families. It was a major boost to Canberra’s population in the early 1960s, requiring new houses, suburbs, schools and other infrastructure.

Today, Canberra and the defence forces cater much better for defence families on posting to this city. We have orientation programs for new arrivals, support organisations, defence liaison officers in schools. Canberra is also leading in the introduction of the national schools curriculum, which will make the transition from different education systems much easier.

In this centennial year’s Anzac Day, Canberrans might also remember how members of the defence forces and their families have been a major part of the history of our city.

Yellow Van

MR DOSZPOT (Molonglo) (6.42): Last week I had the great pleasure of meeting Dave Burnet, director of Yellow Van. Like many Canberrans, I have heard of this Communities@Work initiative but not in such an enthusiastic way as I did from Dave. He is obviously very proud of the Yellow Van program and gave me an interesting insight into the way they operate. Dave has targeted schools to assist in this inspirational program and has been seeking partnerships with schools and colleges.

The partnership with St Edmund’s College is the latest in a strong and growing connection with local schools and colleges. Communities@Work’s Yellow Van has worked closely with St Clare’s College, Canberra College, Canberra grammar, Deakin high, St Francis Xavier and many more schools in the area in the last five years. The food value-adding component is new and it is hoped more schools will choose to become involved in this initiative.

Most schools have hospitality programs as part of their curriculum, and it is a natural fit to see some of Yellow Van’s rescued excess good food delivered to the students who learn to cook while assisting the community. It is a real challenge each week as classes must create menus from a constantly changing range of ingredients. The quality of the prepared meals is so high that there is a constant call from local charities for more deliveries from St Edmund’s.

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