Thursday, 17 February 2022
Werriwa Electorate: Community Events
Over the past few weeks, as COVID subsides in my community, I've been honoured to start attending community events across the electorate of Werriwa. On 3 February I was pleased to be invited to join the Parish of St Luke's commencement ceremony for their new reverend, Timothy Booker. Reverend Booker has worked at St Luke's before, with outgoing Reverend Stuart Pearson. St Luke's is the oldest existing Anglican church in Australia, and services have been held on the site since the early 1800s. Reverend Booker is the 16th rector for the church, which demonstrates the commitment of the rectors, previously, to our community and their parishioners. Reverend Booker follows Reverend Stuart Pearson, who was this year named Liverpool Citizen of the Year for all the work he has done in our community over the past 20 years. Reverend Pearson has served our community, encouraging all at services, whatever their language or ethnicity. The services are in many languages, and he also has been supporting volunteer groups. I wish Stuart and Julie all the best for a wonderful retirement. I know they'll still be very much part of our Liverpool community, and I thank them for their support of our area over so many years.
I attended this year's colourful Lunar New Year celebrations at the Mingyue Lay Buddhist Temple. The event is always beautiful and colourful, and this year's was no different. Welcoming in the Year of the Tiger, the weather was almost perfect, although the quick showers did make the fireworks very difficult to light. I was privileged to be one of the people asked to do so. I'd like to recognise James Chang and Victor Kong for all of the work they and their volunteers do every day to support the large community who visit their temple. These leaders also do incredible work within our community and are often at the forefront of fundraising, if required. They raised incredible amounts of money for those affected by the 2019 bushfires throughout New South Wales as well as by recent flood events and other natural disasters. Nothing is too much trouble for them to help with.
I also attended the signing of the Australian-South Eastern Asian Network statement, which was recognising the coming together of our Laos, Cambodian, Khmer Krom, Myanmar and Vietnamese communities. They are a large group of south-western Sydney communities. This group intends to provide informal advocacy to engage with Australian governments, members of parliament and other institutions. There were special guests in the audience. I acknowledge the venerable abbots and all the other people, including Sawathey Ek OAM. As part of the initiative, there will be a youth group established, and I really do look forward to speaking with them about the issues that matter to them, their community and the wider Australian community. I really appreciate the hospitality shown at all these events. Thank you for the invitations.