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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 17 February 2015) . . Page.. 401 ..

beginnings in 1977. The cultural performances across the nine stages and more than 400 stalls providing food, information and craftwork over the three days ensured that all visitors were left spoilt for choice.

I want to make particular mention of the Indigenous showcase, which is coordinated each year by the ACT NAIDOC committee and this year attracted a wide array of local and interstate artists, craftspeople and performers. The festival gives people an opportunity to explore our city and learn more about the many cultural and faith communities that are so important to our city. This is especially so with Canberra’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Each year the festival gives us all the chance to come together, to experience the colour, sound, sights, food, dancing and fun that represent the world’s unique and diverse cultures that are the heart of our city. It is an event that just keeps getting better.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Fitzharris.

MS FITZHARRIS: Minister, volunteers are an essential element of the festival. Could you outline what role the volunteers played in the success of this year’s Multicultural Festival?

MADAM SPEAKER: Before I call Ms Berry, I will be lenient on this occasion, but I draw to your attention that supplementary questions do not have preambles.

MS BERRY: Our National Multicultural Festival is our biggest, loudest and most fun celebration of Canberra’s amazing, diverse communities, and our official volunteers are one of the main reasons for the festival’s continued success, helping to run the showcases, support the performers, give information and assistance to visitors and so much more.

Before the festival I met with Amelia, Deki, Stephanie, Kabu and Christopher, all of whom had volunteered at this year’s festival, to thank them for the important job they do in supporting our Multicultural Festival. Each volunteer gives a minimum of at least four hours over three days, but a majority do so many more hours. All volunteers receive training leading up to the festival to support volunteers and enable them to deliver festival goers a great experience.

This year we were fortunate to have more than 80 volunteers sign up. Our volunteers come from all walks of life, from teenagers to seniors. Some volunteers helped out for the first time. Others have regularly volunteered for more than a decade.

As well as our official volunteers, I would like to pay special tribute to all of the community volunteers who often do not get the recognition that they deserve. Of the more than 400 multicultural community groups who showcased their respective cultures and faiths through displays of music, dance and food and making information available, there were over 4,000 volunteers who helped out in the stalls of the community groups.

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