House debates

Tuesday, 7 February 2023


Lunar New Year, Steffen, Emeritus Professor William Lee (Will)

7:54 pm

Photo of Chris BowenChris Bowen (McMahon, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Climate Change and Energy) Share this | Hansard source

I have two quite separate matters to briefly address in the adjournment debate tonight. First, many Australians, over recent weeks, have been celebrating lunar new year, which is something that I'm sure many honourable members participated in. The Year of the Rabbit received a lot of attention, but I want to focus tonight on the Year of the Cat. The Year of the Cat did not receive as much attention in the media for reasons I understand. Of course, many people would not know that we even have a Year of the Cat, but, at midnight on 21 January, I had the great pleasure of attending the Phuoc Hue Temple in my electorate which is literally around the corner from my house to welcome in the Year of the Cat which is the Lunar New Year celebrated by the people of Vietnam. \

I very much thank the Phuoc Hue Temple for the celebration that they put on, as they always do. The Most Venerable Thich Phuoc Tan, Senior Venerable Thich Phuoc Vien, Senior Venerable Thich Ahn Chi , Venerable Thich Phuoc Quang and Henry Dang, the president of the association. It was a wonderful night, as it always is, with lots of celebration. There were big crowds out at midnight celebrating the Year of the Cat. Just as, quite rightly, we celebrate the Year of the Rabbit, I want to put on record my celebration of the Year of the Cat. I do note that, on social media, when I celebrated the Year of the Cat, some people were quick to say that I was wrong and that there is no Year of the Cat. Sometimes it pays to check cultural issues and sensitivities before making that comment because, in fact, the Year of the Cat is very much celebrated by many Australians of Vietnamese heritage, as the member for Gellibrand very well knows.


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