Page 3604 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 27 October 2015

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I congratulate the One Canberra reference group for its wonderful work in delivering this report to the government and for the tremendous leadership of individual reference group members throughout this process. This report is a celebration of the dedication of our cultural and faith leaders, advocates and citizens who speak out against persecution and injustice and who support inclusiveness, understanding and tolerance. I look forward to working with these leaders to ensure we take advantage of the opportunities that come from living in such a culturally diverse city, to make our city more inclusive and livable for all Canberrans.

I present a copy of this statement and a copy of the report:

One Canberra Reference Group Report—

Ministerial statement, 27 October 2015.

Report, dated August 2015.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the papers

MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Racing and Gaming and Minister for the Arts) (11.49): I want to acknowledge the community members who are in the Assembly today and to thank Ms Berry for bringing this report and tabling the statement. One Canberra is a picture that is very symbolic of our community. We are, indeed, a diverse community. As Ms Berry said, we speak nearly 200 languages, and one in five Canberrans are born overseas. What I saw through my tenure as the Minister for Multicultural Affairs—which was the most fabulous portfolio to hold—was the absolute pride in our city of every citizen. Regardless of background, regardless of faith, regardless of the mother tongue they speak, as Canberrans they are immensely proud of our citizenship and of our society.

We share so much, and what I see all the time through our multicultural community is that we understand and value all the things that bind us rather than separate us. We all have a shared desire to do the best for our children, to have respect and regard for our elders and to be an active part of our community regardless of north, south, east and west, though the sun does shine more brightly down south in the electorate of Brindabella.

I want to thank Ms Berry for this work. It will continue, because the citizens that make up this great city demand and expect this to continue as one with this great one Canberra. As I said, I am immensely proud of our great city. It is one of respect and inclusion and one where we really do celebrate our diversity. I thank Azra Kahn and John Hargreaves for leading this group to a fruitful conclusion. These actions will be lived and breathed across our city because they come from our community. They are our community and they show our community at its best. Thank you for your work, and may it ever continue to make our city the great city that it is.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Jones) adjourned to the next sitting.

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