Page 1441 - Week 05 - Tuesday, 3 May 2016

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This year, total Australian official development assistance to the Philippines will be an estimated $83 million, representing about 0.3 per cent of the Philippines government’s annual revenue of over $US42.5 billion and overseas remittances of $US28.5 billion. According to the website of DFAT, Australia’s economic partnership with the Philippines will focus on all elements of our trade, investment and aid initiatives—working together to promote growth.

However, local events such as the one held recently also play a vital part in building and sustaining our relationship with the Philippines. I would once again like to thank all those who attended last weekend’s event to support this very important work and the great work done by GK and PAA. In particular, I would like to extend my thanks to Sally Barber, Chris Mills and George Lemon. I wish them all the best in their continuing efforts to support those in need, to raise awareness in Australia and to foster Australia’s ongoing bilateral relationship with the Philippines.

Madam Deputy Speaker, I would also like to inform the Assembly of the very sad passing of Perlita Swinbank, a former president of the Filipino Community Council of the ACT. She passed away late last week, and I will have more to say about her wonderful contribution to Australia and to Canberra, and about her family, at a later date.


MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (4.37): I would like to take this opportunity today to acknowledge the work of PhotoAccess at the Manuka Arts Centre. It recently had an exhibition that was a sensory experience by award-winning Sydney-based artist Kate Disher-Quill. The exhibition was called “Right hear, right now.” It provided an insight into what it is like to be deaf or to live with a hearing loss. The artist’s work comes from personal experience as she was first diagnosed with hearing loss at three years of age. She realised only at the age of 10 after getting her first pair of hearing aids that she in fact felt different. She denied the idea and for years refused to wear her hearing aids and hated the idea that she had a disability.

She has become a gifted artist. This exhibition was a rare insight into people that Kate has met who experience deafness in a multitude of ways. They shared their perspectives and provided a rare view into their own experiences, breaking down the barriers around perceptions of deafness.

Kate Disher-Quill spent a year on this project. She interviewed a range of people whose portraits and biographies make up the exhibition. Some of the photos are in black and white; some are in colour. There are varying sizes. What they do is examine the individual experience of deafness and how the subjects interact with their world and vice versa.

I would like to congratulate the board of PhotoAccess for putting on this great exhibition, including Mr Mark Blumer, the chair; Mr Adam Luckhurst; Mr Brian Rope, deputy chair; Mr Don McLeod; Glenn Pure, the secretary; Ms Kate Murphy; Ms Margaret O‘Shea, the treasurer; Ms Anne O’Hehir; advisers Mr Gilbert Herrada,

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