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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 March 2015) . . Page.. 852 ..

time and again that not only are they a great source of entertainment and excitement for their fans and Canberrans in general but they also offer a great role model to schoolchildren with the school visits they offer on request to pass on the benefits of healthy lifestyles and physical activity to the next generation of Australian footballers. I try not to miss any of Canberra United’s home games.

Finally, art is part of a socially inclusive society, and Belconnen Arts Centre is an institution very close to my heart. I have seen this centre grow from an identified need by a few members of the Belconnen community to the thriving centre it is now. Since its opening in 2009 the Belconnen Arts Centre has become an icon on the shores of Lake Ginninderra. The centre has continued to play a key role in the development of, and opportunities given to, upcoming Canberran artists. The broader Belconnen and north-west Canberra communities are also gaining from the centre’s many programs and accessible services. That is why I welcome the continued support of the arts centre by this government and I look forward to the eventual completion of this important community cultural infrastructure project through the second stage development. This will further enhance its community facilities through the additional performance space as well as enhancing the foreshore of the lake.

We are fortunate to have a very strong and diverse arts community in Canberra and the region. As patron of the CAT awards, I am able to witness firsthand what the arts community contributes to the city and its region by providing a place where many talented young people have gained their first step towards a professional career in live theatre, many of whom would have never been able to fulfil their dreams without the confidence and encouragement of a CAT award, which often gives them the impetus to continue.

In closing, I reflect on what the Chief Minister has just talked about—the fact that we have a way to go and that many in this community still do not feel they are included. They feel uncomfortable and that they cannot reach their full potential in their relationships in particular. I include in that our Indigenous population. I have had experience where people have told me they enter a facility and ask for a service and have to wait for that service because they happen to have different-coloured skin. Many of our refugees that come here from different countries may experience this as well.

MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Minister for Housing, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Community Services, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Women and Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Social Inclusion and Equality) (4.33): I am happy to speak today in my role as Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Social Inclusion and Equality. I thank my colleague Dr Chris Bourke for his words outlining this government’s platform that we are building on to make sure social inclusion and equality are at the heart of our policies.

Today I want to expand on our vision and talk about the roles inclusion and equality have in helping people feel connected in our cities and many communities. It is clear what a socially inclusive community is. It is a community where all people feel valued, where their differences are respected and where they experience equality. The responsibility for making this vision a reality rests with both government and the

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