Page 662 - Week 02 - Thursday, 19 February 2015

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I was pleased to attend the launch of I-Care Australia in December. The launch was a wonderful opportunity to see the compassion and enthusiasm of the Filipino community in action. The attendees were united in their desire to help others and extend compassion to those who are less fortunate.

The launch was attended by a number of honoured guests, including Her Excellency Belen Anota, the Philippine Ambassador to Australia; Eric Marquez and his executive from the I-Care Australia team; Pastor Nonoi Condat from the Hope Queanbeyan congregation; Javad Mehr and Jacqui Dillon from ACT Community Language Schools; and Cecilia Flores, representing FCCACT, along with numerous other delegates from her organisation.

On another note, the Jesus is Lord Church is currently looking for land suitable to build its new centre. The church is currently in temporary accommodation. However, with a growing congregation it is now time for them to find permanent and more suitable accommodation to meet their needs. This would be a massive boost for their community, and it would only help them in the many ways they serve Canberra. I look forward to helping them in their endeavour and I hope they are able to find suitable land for a building shortly. I also hope the government will be able to help them in their endeavours.

I would like to place on the record my congratulations to all those involved in establishing and supporting I-Care Australia. I wish them all the best in their continuing efforts to support those in need. I know they will do a lot of good work for the community and I encourage all members to get behind them when they can.


MS FITZHARRIS (Molonglo) (6.07): Just over a month ago I took my seat here in the Assembly and in the time since I have been meeting with many community organisations doing great work across Canberra, particularly in Gungahlin. Today I would like to take the opportunity to thank Communities@Work for hosting me at the Gungahlin community centre earlier this month.

As many members know, Communities@Work are a local Canberra organisation doing good work, particularly in Tuggeranong and Gungahlin. They do some amazing work for children, seniors, disability services and other community development services.

While I was there I met with Lynne Harwood, CEO; Lee Maiden, Deputy CEO; Judith McDonnell, executive director of disability and mental health; Kim Bool, director of social programs; Brooke Unger, the social programs coordinator; Elaine Smith, operations facilitator for disability and mental health; and Chelsea Greck, executive support officer.

I had the opportunity to visit the care and share program run by Communities@Work in the Gungahlin town centre. Care and share provides food and essential services to people in Canberra experiencing hardship. These programs provide essential help to

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