Page 1509 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 10 April 2013

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So with this information fresh in my mind, I was very pleasantly surprised to see a great article in this week’s Chronicle by Mark Sawa that detailed a partnership to help the poor between St Edmund’s College and the Yellow Van food rescue service, a partnership that was based on an idea by a year 9 student at St Edmund’s College and his father, who happens to be Dave Burnet, the director of Yellow Van.

Tonight, in my capacity as shadow minister for education, I would like to congratulate the initiative of the students and their teachers at St Edmund’s College in Griffith and, of course, Dave Burnet of Yellow Van. Mikey Burnet, Dave’s son, was the year 9 student at St Edmund’s that came up with an idea to have hospitality students at his school prepare food for refugees and charities using raw produce that is donated to Yellow Van. Yellow Van is that wonderful charity that we spoke about, operating in the ACT, that relocates unwanted food from restaurants and shops to those in need.

Mikey’s dad, Dave Burnet, is director of Yellow Van. Obviously it was his inspirational discourse to his family that launched this auspicious partnership, but it would not have happened if students at the school were not prepared to take in the raw ingredients, cook and pack the meals they make and then have Yellow Van deliver them to where they are most needed. I applaud their hard work, their initiative and their enthusiasm. I am sure those that are in receipt of their cooking skills are particularly appreciative.

This is the kind of community activity in which everyone is a winner. The skills the students learn in this project are as valuable as the goodwill they demonstrate to the community at large. Well done, St Edmund’s College, and congratulations to the acting head of food science and hospitality at St Edmund’s College, Dean Parkes. Well done also to Mikey Burnet and others involved in the school’s hospitality course: Angus Rhodes, Tracey Brown, Mark Wadsworth, Jake Dumbrell, Brenton Meares, Jack Gibson, Kane Harper, Megan Matthews, Jackson Bruce, Sean Nicholson, Brent Mackey, Luke Kerr, James Kenny, Bailey Crawford Ong, and Bronson Mowat.


MS BERRY (Ginninderra) (6.45): It is interesting to hear Mrs Jones associate herself with a politician who called Nelson Mandela a terrorist and supported the military coup in Chile. Tonight I rise, however, to speak about the progressive value of multiculturalism.

Late last month I had the opportunity to open the Migrant and Refugee Settlement Services harmony sports carnival which celebrates another successful year for their harmony players program. The harmony players program is funded under the diversity and social cohesion program within the federal Department of Immigration and Citizenship. It is overseen by the ACT migrant and refugee resource service. When it was founded, the aim of the program was to create a space where a group of young people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds would be able to learn a new sport in a fun and safe environment and, from what I saw on the day, they have achieved this and much more.

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