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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 3 August 2017) . . Page.. 2511 ..

organisation acknowledged the important and essential contributions charities make across the ACT and provided $197,497 to a number of our local charities that work with our community’s most vulnerable people, including OzHarvest Canberra, the Shepherd Centre, St Vincent de Paul Society, YWCA Canberra, Lifeline Canberra and many more.

At this event Peter Gordon, CEO of Hands Across Canberra, remarked that the role of the organisation is to:

… encourage Canberrans to think about being generous right here in our own backyard … I work to connect people who can help with local charities needing support.

I am grateful not just for Hands Across Canberra but for each of the charities that this organisation supports. The Canberra Liberals strongly believe in a just and humane society where those who cannot provide for themselves can live in dignity. We also believe in the innate worth of the individual. It is my belief that many Canberrans understand and share these same principles. They understand that in the great family of man we are all brothers and sisters; therefore we have not just the obligation but also the happy opportunity to love and take care of each other.

But how do we do that? Often we do not know who needs help. That is where an organisation like Hands Across Canberra comes in. They know who needs our help, providing a place where we can give, secure in the knowledge that our gifts of love will reach their target. I encourage all members of this Assembly and all Canberra citizens to consider contributing.

World Refugee Day


MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Community Services and Social Inclusion, Minister for Disability, Children and Youth, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations) (4.20): I endorse the comments of Mrs Kikkert about Hands Across Canberra, a very worthy organisation.

Canberra is a city of great diversity. During the winter recess I was able to join with members of Canberra's community to not only celebrate this diversity but also reflect on what can be done to continue to support and promote inclusion.

On 20 June, I joined Canberrans and communities across the globe in marking World Refugee Day, a day that both highlights the plight and celebrates the triumph of people from refugee backgrounds. Here in the ACT we have welcomed more than 2,000 refugees over the past 10 years. This year the government hosted a World Refugee Day breakfast for refugees and non-government organisations that support refugees and asylum seekers in our community.

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