Monday, 8 February 2016
Statements by Members
Scullin Electorate: Australia Day
Is was my great privilege to spend Australia Day at citizenship ceremonies at the Shire of Nillumbik and the City of Whittlesea in the Scullin electorate. At the outset, I take this opportunity to acknowledge the work of all those involved in setting up and in carrying out those ceremonies, which put the experience of new citizens very much at the centre of the festivities. They were great events to be part of and it was a great privilege to also be able to share some reflections of my own on the meaning of citizenship, particularly as it relates to the multicultural communities I am very proud to represent. I look forward also, having shared my reflections, to sharing the stories of the nearly-200 people who became Australians citizens on that day. I am very confident that those stories will enrich and enhance the fabric of diversity and multiculturalism of Melbourne's north. Two hundred people from around the world have decided to come and make their lives in Australia—that is something that we can be proud of. I look forward to their energies and talents being harnessed to the benefit of our community.
It was also a pleasure, at both these events, to acknowledge the work of the citizens of the year, acknowledged by their peers and by local government. I take this opportunity to congratulate all those who were nominated, as well as the award winners. I also take this opportunity in this place to acknowledge the work of Ellen Smiddy, who was, on that day, awarded a Member of the Order of Australia medal. Ellen has made an extraordinary contribution to her community and to the Australian Labor Party, and it is a great thing that our community has acknowledged that service. (Time expired)