Page 3300 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 17 September 2013

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Loka is striking out on his own, with the assistance of Social Ventures Australia and mentoring from Companion House. In many ways, he has come full circle, with a commitment to help people starting out in a new country or a new industry just like he did. With the assistance of SVA, Loka will be employing two young people who have come to Australia through our humanitarian programs as well as providing work experience to those who are undertaking the same workplace training he received at the CIT.

I had a great time at the opening and I would like to wish all the best to Loka Chanmi and his team: Mikhin Chanmi, Loka’s wife; Seik Taw Win who is a member of the staff; Khit Tami and Aikhine Hongsa who are also staff members. I can highly recommend the coffee and the cakes and the delicious fresh sandwiches and I recommend that next time you are down at the Woden library you get in to Cafe Ink.

National Deaf Netball Club Championships

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (5.12): On Saturday 21 August I was invited to the 13th Margo Allen National Deaf Netball Club Championships where I was privileged to present the second and third place awards for the women’s competition, with the first place medallions being presented by the daughter of the late Margo Allen in honour of her mother, who worked to provide this netball event for deaf women to encourage participation in the sport and social inclusion. Today I would like to raise awareness of the event and acknowledge the people who volunteered their time to make sure this was a success.

The National Deaf Netball Club Championships were run from 30 August to 1 September at the ACT netball centre in Lyneham. Thirteen teams from across Australia, including, of course, the ACT, came to compete in the competition. Many people asked me how deaf players hear the ref’s whistle, and the answer, of course, is that they do not. The refs use red flags to attract attention and stop the play. Other than that, the rules and skill levels are on par with any netball championship.

The event ran very smoothly and was a great success, which would not have been possible without DeafACT and the DeafACT Netball Subcommittee. I would like to pay tribute to David Brady, Chloe Nash, Mark Parkinson, Diana Ciuffetelli, Virginia Dixon and Tamara Bishop for all the work that went into organising this event. From the logistics of rosters to referees, there is much more to putting on an event like this than meets the eye.

I would also like to acknowledge the work of other volunteers who assisted over the weekend, including Laurie Riley, Reuben Farruqia, Steve Cooper, Milena Cooper, Rachel Muntz, Simone Farruqia, Claire Perry and Sheree Murray and all the rest, including Martin Kerridge. It is fantastic to see events such as this being brought to Canberra.

On a more sombre note, I would also like to make special mention of a man who has been part of the ACT deaf community for many years. In fact, he volunteered his interpreting services over that weekend at the National Deaf Netball Club

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