Page 4754 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 31 October 2017

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their heritage regardless of what their backgrounds may be. I wish to encourage them to start the personal journeys now that will lead them to better understand the significance of certain parts of their parents’ or even their grandparents’ cultures.

For this reason I have designed a formal but fun way for kids aged from eight to 18 years to explore and then share more about their cultures. Tongan people often describe the experience such as I had in attending my aunt’s funeral as going “back to our roots”. I therefore wish to announce the back to your roots 2017-18 writing competition for all children and young people who live, study and/or work in the ACT. Entrants will learn more about their cultural heritage and then produce an essay, a short story, a poem, song lyrics, a script or a comic that demonstrates an insightful appreciation of one or more aspects of the participant’s cultural heritage.

The purpose of this competition is to encourage youths to either connect or reconnect with the culture of their parents, grandparents or even more distant ancestors. As studies have shown, knowing and appreciating who we are and where we come from gives people an empowering sense of identity and helps to support good mental health outcomes as well. Next week I will be launching a website that will provide further details regarding this competition. A panel of judges will be engaged to assess submissions. To encourage participation, there will be a fun and exciting prize for the winners.

I hope that many Canberra kids will be inspired by this back to your roots writing competition to learn more about their cultural heritage, draw closer to their families and then use their creativity to share their insights with the rest of us. I look forward to announcing the winners in February.

Greyhound racing industry

MR PARTON (Brindabella) (6.47): I rise to respond to one of Mr Ramsay’s answers in question time today in the gaming and racing space. Mr Ramsay has been unable to provide any evidence that greyhound racing is out of step with community values in the ACT. This was in response to questions about the unequivocal support of Victorian Labor, and indeed every other Labor Party in this entire nation other than his own, for the sport of greyhound racing. In his response to the strong support from the Victorian Labor Premier, Mr Ramsay was seriously grabbing at straws this afternoon. He brought up the prohibited substance convictions of the Lords who train out at Gunning as, I am assuming, a reason to ban the industry.

The Canberra Liberals believe that all incidents of this nature should be taken very seriously. We certainly have faith that the governing bodies of all codes have in place a regulatory framework and penalties to police their industries. History shows that there have been a number of similar incidents involving prohibited substances across all three codes and involving trainers who participate regularly in the ACT.

If we are basing our banning decisions on such incidents, I can only assume that we will be banning thoroughbred racing in the ACT, perhaps by 1 January 2019. I am sure that the minister responsible for racing in the ACT would know who Chris Waller is. I am sure he would know that Chris Waller trains thoroughbreds in Sydney.

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