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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 August 2017) . . Page.. 3297 ..

We can sit here behind our security guards, say we are tough on crime and pass special laws that regulate the way people dress; or we can fund front-line policing properly. I am glad to be supporting a government that has chosen the option that keeps our community safe, properly funding front-line police. Congratulations, Mick; congratulations, Andrew.

Debate (on motion by Mr Gentleman) adjourned to the next sitting.


Motion (by Mr Gentleman) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Niu Oceania cultural centre

MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (6.31): Three weeks ago it was my privilege to be one of three participants on a panel discussion regarding women in leadership in the ACT’s Pasifika community. Other panellists were Her Excellency Hinauri Petana, Samoan high commissioner to Australia, and Myjolynne Kim, a PhD candidate at ANU from the Micronesian island of Chuuk. The forum borrowed its theme from this year’s International Women’s Day—be bold for change—and was sponsored by a remarkable new organisation, the Niu Oceania cultural centre.

Niu Oceania was formally launched on 31 March 2017 at the ANU’s Hedley Bull building. Its primary aim is to teach, disseminate and preserve the languages, arts, cultures and values of the Pacific Islands. One of the organisation’s primary activities is language instruction. The centre provides basic adult language classes in Samoan, Tongan, Fijian and Tok Pisin. These classes are held each Thursday evening from 6 until 8 pm on the ANU campus, with languages alternating each week. Tomorrow evening, for example, there will be parallel sessions in Fijian and Tongan, and next week’s classes will be held in Samoan and Tok Pisin.

These classes have been designed for learners who have little or no existing knowledge and are the perfect opportunity for anyone, islander or otherwise, to pick up a completely new language. The first hour of each session is a learning and sharing activity that focuses on themes and issues important to the ACT’s Pasifika community. This helps fulfil the centre’s mission of preserving and teaching culture and values.

In addition to these language classes, Niu Oceania holds weekly public forums also on Thursday evenings from 6 until 8 pm at the ANU. The topics of these forums are chosen to be relevant to Canberra’s diverse islander communities, and the presenters come from these same communities. For example, the week before the panel discussion on women in leadership was a health and wellbeing workshop. Dr Roannie Ng Shiu, convenor of Pacific studies at the ANU, presented and was joined by two other Pacific Islander students, Teisa Holani, who is currently studying medicine and surgery at the ANU, and Fa’onetapu Takiari, who is currently studying for a degree in the field of sporting and exercise science at the University of Canberra.

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