Page 1260 - Week 04 - Thursday, 26 March 2015

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was devoted to a most inspiring event. It was called “Embrace”. It was run by the Catholic Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn and it was subtitled “The Joy of the Gospel in Marriage and Family Life”. It was one of the scheduled gatherings of the archdiocese.

On this occasion there were 700 attendees, not counting the children. There was a children’s program, a young people’s program and an adults’ program. The program for the day was emceed by my great friend Mrs Catherine Cooney from Karinya House. The principal speakers on the day were His Grace the Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn, Christopher Prowse, Professor Greg Craven, the Vice-Chancellor of the Australian Catholic University, and also great regional residents Tim and Lara Kirk from Clonakilla winery, who gave great testament to the importance of marriage in the community. The coordinator of the day was Sharon Brewer, under the close and expert administration of Shawn van der Linden from CatholicLIFE.

Archbishop Prowse said that “Embrace” was designed as a get-together to encourage people, whether they are part of the church or not, to talk and think about the difficult issues associated with family life. Marriage is under many threats and many pressures, and it was a very uplifting and inspiring day where people were prepared to talk about difficult issues like divorce and separation and the effect this has on children, the interaction between different generations, the new and different ways in which families are made and the impact and challenges that provides for the church in general and Catholic people.

As I said, it was an inspiring day, with 700 participants at St Clare’s College. It was also webcast, I understand, to more than 100 other people around the country. Many people from the far-flung parts of the diocese—Lake Cargelligo is a long way from Canberra—were able to participate in the diocesan gathering through webcasting.

The day was sponsored by Catholic Church Insurance, Catholic Super and the Hindmarsh Group. I give particular thanks to Sharon Brewer for her fantastic coordination on the day.

The low point, in some ways, was on Sunday, when I travelled to Sydney to support the Brumbies in their game against the Waratahs. It was a disappointing outcome and I promise in future that I will not travel interstate to watch the Brumbies play, because every time I do they lose. So my contribution to the Brumbies’ success in 2015 is that I will not travel to away games again.

I also note that the Brumbies were pleased to announce and support the citizenship of twins Ruan and Jean-Pierre Smith, who became Australian citizens last Friday. Like all new citizens in the ACT, the Brumbies’ Smith twins will receive an invitation to the Speaker’s new citizens night sometime in the future. On that note, there is a new citizens night next Tuesday night, and I encourage members to attend.

Burgmann Anglican School Twilight Fair

Charny Carny

MR COE (Ginninderra) (5.10): I rise tonight to congratulate Burgmann Anglican School on hosting their Twilight Fair. Last Friday, 20 March I had the pleasure of

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