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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 06 Hansard (Tuesday, 12 May 2015) . . Page.. 1577 ..

It is a burden that is difficult for many of us to fully comprehend, grappling with such devastation and death and in some cases not yet knowing the fate of friends and family. Over 1,000 people of Nepalese origin call Canberra their home, with an additional 100 Nepali overseas students currently studying at the University of Canberra and the Australian National University. I was heartened that, when the earthquake struck, members of our city’s Nepalese community and the wider ACT community rallied to support each other and the Nepal earthquake relief appeals.

As the Minister for Multicultural Affairs, I take this opportunity to applaud the collective efforts of community organisations and individuals who have come together to support each other and the people of Nepal in their hour of need. The Chief Minister has already mentioned the wonderful work that has been done by members of the Nepalese community and their friends who live in the region.

I would personally like to thank the President of the ACT Branch of the Australian Nepal Friendship Society, Dr Binod Nepal, and members of the coordination committee, representing ACT multicultural and community organisations and volunteers.

This hardworking team is currently working to support immediate emergency relief such as medical care, food and temporary shelter and with community, businesses and government to support medium and long-term support and rebuilding efforts.

I am also honoured to mention the valuable work of particular members of our local Nepalese community, including Suni Pandey Karki and Rabindra Pradham, and their considerable efforts to coordinate the transportation of vitally needed sleeping bags, blankets and tents to Nepal in the past two weeks. ACT Nepalese community member Soodeep Chetri is on the ground in Nepal coordinating the distribution of this vital relief equipment.

Other ACT multicultural community organisations, clubs and businesses are also rallying to the cause by showing their generosity and support, including the India Australia Association, with an event to be held at the Labor Club in Belconnen on 17 May. The Hyatt Hotel Canberra is organising a high tea to raise funds for Nepal on Sunday, 17 May, from 12.30 to 2.30. The Rotary Club of Kaleen will conduct an information sharing session at their club rooms in Kaleen at 6.30 pm on 18 May. The India Australia Association of Canberra is holding a charity Ghazal night to raise funds at the Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre in Civic Square from 6 pm on 7 June.

Madam Speaker, these are just some of the wonderful examples of community spirit and generosity at work within our multicultural and broader ACT communities. The citizens of Canberra are working together to help the people and nation of Nepal during their time of need. I am immensely proud of them all.

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank you personally for your support for a public condolence book to be placed in the foyer of this Assembly for anyone who would like to write a message of solidarity with and condolence for the people of Nepal. I remind members that the condolence book will remain within the reception area of the

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