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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 March 2018) . . Page.. 898 ..

I worry that sometimes these roles can feel thankless, so today I want to say thanks once again for all that these good women and men do. Thank you for caring. Thank you for putting the needs of others above your own comfort, often spending hours away from your families in order to serve and strengthen your communities. Thank you for helping new migrants and refugees find solid footing here in our territory. Thank you for the mentoring, for the shepherding and for the many kindnesses that you share.

It is one of my privileges, Madam Speaker, and has been for a number of years, to work alongside these inspiring Canberrans. Today I am grateful for all that they do to establish genuine harmony in our society. I hope they will feel the comfort, the support they need to keep going. I am proud to have them as my colleagues and as my friends.

Harmony Day

MS ORR (Yerrabi) (6.32): Each year Harmony Day provides us with the chance to recognise how lucky we are to live in such a diverse multicultural city. In recognising the diverse range of cultures in our community, we also recognise the traditional owners and custodians of the land on which we live, work and play, the Ngunnawal people. I acknowledge the everlasting contribution they make to the territory and acknowledge their elders, past, present and emerging.

Canberrans value the contribution multicultural communities make to the life of our city. As the local member for Yerrabi, I often have the opportunity to attend a variety of cultural and religious celebrations within my own electorate as well as across Canberra. The National Multicultural Festival is an outstanding showcase of the diversity of culture within our city, but there are plenty of other celebrations throughout the year that highlight the significance of Canberra’s multicultural community groups.

I would like to take the time this evening to acknowledge and thank the people I have had the pleasure of meeting with over the last month. Earlier this month I attended the Federation of Indian Associations of ACT Community Harmony Day and joined the Canberran Indian community in promoting inclusiveness and networking for community leaders.

I celebrated this year’s International Women’s Day with the team at Migrant and Refugee Settlement Services, with a focus on recognising the incredible contribution women from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds make to Canberra and the surrounding regions. Each year, International Women’s Day shines a light on the success of women in our community and the work that still needs to be done to achieve gender equity and equality. I would like to thank MARSS for the work they are doing in empowering women in cultural communities, and I congratulate the women I spoke to who are paving the way and supporting young women from across Australia. This coming Friday, MARSS will be holding a Harmony Day sports carnival. I look forward to joining them further for the work they do.

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