Page 3860 - Week 12 - Thursday, 24 October 2013

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Since I have become Speaker I have particularly valued Celeste’s work. I have highlighted the work that Celeste did for the presiding officers and clerks meeting this year. I believe that Celeste is an adornment to the Clerk’s office and the Chamber Support Office and she will be missed. I wish her well in her next venture up on the hill. Thank you very much, Celeste.


Motion (by Ms Burch) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Diwali Mela festival

MRS JONES (Molonglo) (4.38): At the weekend I had the pleasure of attending Diwali Mela, the Indian festival of light. Diwali Mela is a celebration of the triumph of good over evil and is the biggest celebration in India each year. It is often said to be somewhat like Christmas and unites people regardless of social demographic or geographical location. All of the many Indian associations across Canberra cooperate to make this festival such a great event, and I am really happy to have been a part of it.

I was very pleased to have been invited to speak on behalf of the Canberra Liberals, and I thank those who attended and organised the event. In particular, I would like to highlight the work of Krishan Aggarwal, Chairman of Diwali Mela Inc; Niranjan Aggarwal for showing me around the festival on the day and his role in organising the event; Sridevi Natarajan, owner of Vasthraa Silk, producing some beautiful and fantastic saris and other attire for people to wear—I might have to get myself a sari in time for next year—Ritesh Sadana, tabla player and singer; Moyuresh Biswas, singer and harmonium player; and all of the dancers and singers in the Tamil and Telugu societies for putting on a fantastic show.

I would really like to thank the many people who gave up their time to organise and run food stalls—the food was just amazing—the stage crews who ran the music, the lights and the announcements and the many other people who were involved. To find out more about next year’s Diwali Mela, please visit their website at

Canberra Highland Gathering

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (4.40): I rise tonight to speak about the Canberra Highland Gathering and the ACT Pipe Band Championships at which I represented the Chief Minister. The Highland Gathering was an event organised by the Canberra College of Piping and Drumming in Kambah and was supported by the ACT government’s community centenary initiatives fund. It is one of the largest and most successful Scottish highland gatherings in Australia thanks to the support of the ACT government. The organisers have been approached to host the Australian Pipe Band Championships in 2016, the first time this event will be held in Canberra.

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