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Since the last sitting of this Assembly in March, I have had the pleasure of attending a number of events right across the electorate of Yerrabi.
I rise this evening to provide an update on some of the fantastic things that have been happening in and around my electorate.
On April 1st I met students, staff and families of Kaleen Primary School and Harrison School at their annual school fetes.
Both fetes had an abundance of food, art performances and activities for everyone to participate in.
At Kaleen, the ‘Dunk the Principal’ attraction seemed as popular as ever, and the Peach Pie from the cake stall was superb.
At Harrison, the pony rides were the favourite, to the point my niece eventually decided the line was too long to bother, despite her initial interest.
Congratulations to everyone from Kaleen Primary and Harrison School who were involved in organising and facilitating the events.
On April 11 I had the pleasure of representing the Deputy Chief Minister at the opening of a new park in Moncrieff.
All streets in Moncrieff are named after musicians, and the park was named in honour of two famous Australian musicians, Smoky Dawson and Peter Dawson, specifically recognising their contributions to the Australian music industry.
Relatives of both musicians attended the ceremony. Iris, Alan and Raylene Mullins represented the family of Peter Dawson, and Terry and Norm Griffin were there as relatives of Smoky Dawson.
Herbert Henry Dawson, known as Smoky Dawson, strongly influenced Australian country music and had many other talents including yodelling and whip cracking.
Peter Dawson was a bass-baritone singer-songwriter and recording artist. His recordings of Advance Australia Fair and Waltzing Matilda made both songs very popular.
Dawson Park is a neighbourhood play and recreation space on top of a hill with views over the entire suburb and surrounding grasslands.
It has playground equipment and a shaded play area providing the entire Moncrieff community with a quality public space to enjoy.
As Gungahlin continues to grow at a rapid pace, it is critically important that new suburbs and existing areas continue to have access to green spaces where people can come together to meet, play and enjoy the natural environment around their homes.
I trust the Moncrieff community will make great use of Dawson Park and the Recreational Park which is due to be completed later this year.
Celebrations marking the 70th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Sri Lanka and Australia were held on April 29 at Red Cross House in Garran.
The High Commission and Red Cross Australia arranged a blood drive as part of the celebrations, to symbolise the strong bonds of friendship and goodwill between Sri Lanka and Australia.
It was an honour to represent the Chief Minister and the ACT Government in recognising this milestone and to meet His Excellency Mr Somasundaram Skandakumar, High Commissioner for Sri Lanka along with other High Commission staff and the local Sri Lankan community.
Canberra is the permanent home to a diverse and vibrant multicultural population, of which over 2,000 Australians of Sri Lankan origin and descent provide a valuable contribution to the life of our city.
I would like to once again congratulate the High Commission for the unique way of celebrating the 70th Anniversary, and thank everyone in attendance for their continued contribution to the local community.
Last, but definitely not least, I joined the people of Gungahlin and my colleagues Minister Fitzharris and Mr Pettersson at the annual Celebrate Gungahlin Festival on April 29.
It was a fantastic day filled with performances from local arts and music groups, with plenty to see and do for everyone who came along.
I had a number of conversations with people about the future of the Town Centre and how the Government’s planning refresh will provide the community with a chance to see the public spaces they use, be transformed into more user friendly areas for everyone to enjoy.
It was a fantastic day for all involved and I would like to thank Communities at Work and My Gungahlin for organising what was once again a successful festival. I’m already looking forward to the celebrations next year!
As all of us in this place know, attending community events and meeting with people in our electorates is one of the best things about our role as local members, and I am very keen to get out into the electorate once again between now and the next sitting week.