Page 1170 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 28 March 2017

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I will finish by putting on the record my thanks to the committees involved in bringing these special community events to life. There is an enormous amount of behind-the-scenes volunteering work that starts many months out. I would also like to put on the record my thanks to the sponsors, the large majority of whom are local businesses, who generously donate their time and goods to these events and without whom these events would not be possible.

CAP Expo

MS LEE (Kurrajong) (4.22): I rise today to talk about the Connect and Participate Expo, the CAP Expo, held over the weekend. The CAP Expo is a community event to showcase all the various groups and activities available to Canberrans of all ages and abilities. It was held for the first time in 2014 and was established as an event to showcase the opportunities for Canberrans to join groups with common interests and to construct social links. The expo has since grown to be an important platform for people to easily learn about the various ways to participate in exciting organisations around Canberra. Engaging with recreational groups that teach and encourage activities like dancing, martial arts, bushwalking and music is good for all Canberrans’ physical, mental and emotional health.

This year there were over 100 stalls, from organisations involved in sailing and equestrian, food stalls, community councils, and radio stations. I had the pleasure of meeting some of these organisations as well as reconnecting with some familiar faces. I take this opportunity to talk about some of the organisations that I spoke to over the weekend.

I mention 1RPH, a radio station designed for the print handicapped, which includes people who are visually impaired, paraplegic, affected by arthritis or MS, or dyslexic. I understand that there are some members in this Assembly who volunteer for 1RPH.

Mrs Dunne: For many years.

MS LEE: Yes, many years. It was lovely to be able to connect with them. Their programs include reading from daily newspapers, magazines and books, and they do themed programs on issues ranging from health and science to travel and gardening.

Pegasus, another not-for-profit community organisation, provides people with disabilities with access to horseriding. Horseriding is not only fun, but a great opportunity to improve the confidence of people who take part. It also contributes to improving physical attributes such as coordination and balance. Pegasus has grown from its modest beginnings of two ponies for two hours a week, with a majority of the work done by the two co-founders, Bid Williams and Judith Burns, to now more than a dozen horses, with a volunteer base of over 140 dedicated Canberrans. Pegasus are no doubt concerned about their uncertain future in the new NDIS model.

There is the National Parks Association, who are dedicated to keeping our bush capital beautiful. I have taken them up on their offer for a hike out to Namadgi and Yankee Hat next month, so we will see if I come back from that unscathed.

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