Page 826 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 21 March 2017

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I wish to thank both him and Mr Din Pla Hongsa, past president of the association and a good friend, who invited me to offer a few words as part of the program.

The Mon people have a long and proud history. Their script became the basis for many other written languages in the region, and it was through the faithful dedication of Mon monks and scholars that Theravada Buddhism spread throughout Burma, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand.

After having faced much persecution in Burma, including the banning of their language and publications, slave labour and forced resettlement, Mon refugees first arrived in Canberra 22 years ago, and today our beautiful city is home to the largest Mon population in Australia. They have embraced their adopted home and, with their characteristic strength and determination, they teach Mon language classes and provide much-needed cultural and social support for fellow refugees.

Appreciating the history and resilience of this community is an important part of what it really means to embrace all Canberrans. I am proud to be a friend of the Mon community and people. Happy harmony week.

Heart Foundation ACT

MR DOSZPOT (Kurrajong) (4.48): I rise this evening to mention my annual charity fundraiser. This year my charity fundraiser is “A matter of the heart”. We are supporting Heart Foundation ACT to help find answers to ending heart disease. This will be the 10th year of my charity fundraisers and, together with Assembly colleagues and the ever generous ACT community, we can make this the biggest trivia fundraiser night to date.

With heart disease still being the biggest killer of both men and women in Canberra, there continues to be much work to be done to reduce the burden of this disease. We hope to raise vital funds for research and programs to support the heart health of all Canberrans. As usual, our team includes local radio personality Greg Bayliss, who will join me on stage as master of ceremonies. Along with some amazing auction items and raffles, and with the support of the community, the night should once again provide much-needed funds for a great cause.

I would hope that our Assembly colleagues on both sides would see fit to extend this invitation to family, friends and neighbours and form a table of 10 to compete for the top spot on the night. It will not only be great fun; it is all for a great cause. So come and test your knowledge at an evening of trivia, entertainment, food and prizes. I look forward to seeing you all at the Heart Foundation ACT trivia night on Friday, 30 June at 6.30 pm, at the Hellenic Club of Canberra. The only detail I have not mentioned is the cost of the tickets—$60 per head or, if you form a table of 10, it is reduced to $50 per head. So for a table of 10 it is only $500. Madam Deputy Speaker, I hope that we will see you there on the night as well.

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