Page 1759 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 13 May 2015

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The blanket run starts and finishes at Old Parliament House. This year more than 200 riders took part, on what was a particularly cold morning. The generosity of riders was clear, with a large number of items donated and nearly $4,000 raised. I note that the minister, Mick Gentleman, was also in attendance. The blanket run is not only an opportunity for riders to show their generosity but also an opportunity for them to share with the general public that motorcyclists can ride safely and be a positive part of the community.

I would like to extend my thanks to the police who provided an escort for the ride that day. I would like to place on the record my congratulations and thanks to all those involved in the MRA blanket run, in particular: the executive of the organisation, including the president, Jen Woods; secretary, Nicky Hussey; treasurer, Leanne Patterson; and committee, Trish Holdsworth, Leen Parsons, Leo Farrelly and Sylvia Sinfield. For more information about the Motorcycle Riders Association of the ACT, I recommend that members visit their website at

Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders—youth

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) (6.12): I want to share a speech provided to me by one of the speakers who attended the Just sayin’ forum which was hosted by me and Mr Gentleman during Youth Week. It reads:

My name is Klair Carney. I’m a proud Wiradjuri woman. Currently I am working at Northside Community Service as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Program Coordinator.

Firstly, I wish to acknowledge the Ngunnawal people, the traditional owners of the land on which this event is taking place. I would like to pay my respects to the elders and custodians both past and present, to the Indigenous and non-Indigenous people here before me and also to the youth of today who I am certain will be our future leaders.

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak to you all today, opportunities like this are rare; it is an honour to stand here amongst you all.

The oxford dictionary describes identity as “The fact of being who or what a person or thing is”.

I want to ask you all a question, where would you be today without knowing your identity? Think about this for a moment: how would you feel not knowing who you are, where you come from, your heritage or your culture. How would that affect your future?

A fear amongst modern Aboriginal society is that the children will lose their cultural beliefs and not identify strongly enough with Aboriginal society. As in other societies children are vitally important. For us they are the future and hope. We cannot afford to lose our most precious resource. It is necessary that we instil in them a sense of pride in their history and culture so that they too have the chance, like other Australians, of knowing who they are.

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