Page 1440 - Week 05 - Tuesday, 3 May 2016

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This was evident by the tutors who attended the celebration, who are important social contacts for the migrants and refugees and connect them with the community in all these different ways, helping them with the different things that we all take for granted that are part of our culture but that are a very new culture for refugees and migrants in our community.

One of the participants in the program whom I met was Ayan, who had been a refugee from Sudan who had experienced some pretty tough times coming to Australia and calling Australia her home. What was particularly pleasing was that later that evening, after I had the privilege of introducing Gillian Triggs to a packed and overflowing audience at the ANU at Llewellyn Hall, Ayan was there with her teenage son to meet Gillian Triggs and to be part of the real Canberra that was there listening to Gillian Triggs’s story after she had spoken out about her treatment by the federal government earlier that week in the Saturday Paper. It was a massive audience, and it was certainly heart-warming to see so many Canberrans who are ready to welcome refugees and migrants into our community.

Philippine-Australian Association

Ms Perlita Swinbank

MR COE (Ginninderra) (4.34): I rise today to talk about the trivia night organised by Gawad Kalinga Australia and the Philippine-Australian Association of the ACT and Monaro Region, held last month at the Canberra Bridge Club in Deakin. I had the honour of being the quiz master for the event.

Translated into English, “gawad kalinga” means to give care. A Philippine-based movement, Gawad Kalinga aims to end poverty by first restoring the dignity of the poor. GK began with a simple desire to give care and leave no-one behind, and its mission is to end poverty for five million families by 2024.

The Canberra branch of Gawad Kalinga is working to support two programs: Kusina ng Kalinga, a program for feeding disadvantaged children in the public schools across the Philippines, and the SipaG football program, a program that seeks to promote values formation and youth empowerment through physical activity, games and sports such as soccer.

Attended by over 100 very enthusiastic people at 17 tables, the entertaining night raised $2,500 for the programs I have just mentioned. It was a great night with a serious purpose, and I congratulate all those who participated, particularly those on the winning tables.

Australia’s relationship with the Philippines is one of our longest standing bilateral relationships. We have shared interests and values, supported by strong people-to-people links, for many years. Australia is home to over 250,000 people of Filipino heritage, with over 10,000 Filipino students enrolled in Australian universities and vocational institutions. Two-way trade was almost $4 billion as of 2015 and has the potential to grow to benefit both countries.

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