Page 1169 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 25 March 2015

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Hackett Community Day

Narrabundah Festival


MR DOSZPOT (Molonglo) (4.42): I would like to touch on a few activities I attended on Saturday. First off, in the morning I had the pleasure of attending the Hackett Community Day at the Hackett shops. It is always an interesting place to visit. We met the Hackett Community Council, including one of the most famous characters of Hackett, James, better known as the mayor of Hackett, and obviously a lot of people whom we get to know in the community from our various visits. It was a very interesting morning and I enjoyed meeting up with the Hackett community.

The afternoon I spent at the Narrabundah Festival. That was also an interesting activity where we met with a lot of the community members. The Narrabundah Festival has been happening for quite a while now. I pay tribute to the old Narrabundah Community Association and Austin Lynch, in particular, who does a lot of work organising and promoting the event.

In the afternoon I had the pleasure to be an invitee at a very interesting community initiative. In fact, the organisation is called IWiN, Initiatives for Women in Need. I would like to thank Mrs Madhumita Iyengar, the chair of IWiN, and her committee for organising a very unique event. It was a combined fundraiser for a couple of schools in India. One is Ek Prayas School in Kolkata, India. It is a unique day school providing education on English medium, food, uniform, learning materials and vocational training free of cost to the slum children and has done so for over 10 years. It focuses on empowering the kids from slums to become socially responsible and independent adults—kids who otherwise are forced to become child labourers due to poverty.

The other school that the fundraiser was for is the Pazhassi Raja Tribal School in Wayanad, Kerala, India. It is also a unique residential school established by Dr Nambiar and it provides education, food, accommodation, vocational training and medical facilities completely free of cost to the tribal children. It has been operating for the last 15 years. It focuses on uplifting the tribal children who otherwise are victims of child labour and child trafficking as parents are often left with no choice.

The event itself as a fundraiser alone would have been a very memorable occasion, but it turned into something far more than that as well in terms of the panel discussion that followed. Again, I want to sincerely thank Mrs Madhumita Iyengar for this innovative and quite interesting debate and panel discussion that followed with some very interesting speakers. The topic was domestic violence and issues relating to that, and the speakers were extremely capable academics.

I will start by mentioning Professor Patricia Easteal, who is a professor of law at the University of Canberra. She is an author, activist and advocate best known for her research, publications and teaching in the area of women and the law. Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt is a senior fellow at the College of Asia and Pacific Studies at the Australian National University. She is a convenor of gender specialisation and has a master’s in applied anthropology and participatory development program at the ANU. The third

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