House debates

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Constituency Statements

Scullin Electorate: Turkish Community, Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre

10:37 am

Photo of Andrew GilesAndrew Giles (Scullin, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Schools) Share this | | Hansard source

I'm very proud and privileged to represent a large community of Australians of Turkish background, and you would be well aware of the extraordinary contribution that Turkish Australians have made right across the northern suburbs, Deputy Speaker Vamvakinou, including in your electorate of Calwell. Some would say—not me on this occasion—that the contribution in Calwell might be greater even than in Scullin. You would be aware, and I would like to acknowledge in this House, that it is 70 years since migration from Cyprus to Australia began and 50 years since migration from Turkey began.

I was very pleased on Saturday to join in a very significant celebration of those great anniversaries and to think about what a difference that migration story has made to Melbourne, particularly to the northern suburbs. The occasion, at Epping, brought together community members from the Turkish community and from the wider community to celebrate the Turkish contribution through the well-known medium of football—soccer, some would say. I was so pleased to be there with so many friends to see Whittlesea United triumph over Cairnlea 5-3 in the seniors and 3-0 in the juniors. I'd like to acknowledge Whittlesea United Football Club, for having me along and giving me the opportunity to participate in such a wonderful celebration, as well as such community organisations as the Moreland Turkish Association and many individuals. There are too many to mention by name with one exception, a young man named Samil Damir, who has made an extraordinary contribution at an early age and shows a quality of leadership in the community that warrants recognition in this place. I know that my state parliamentary colleagues who were with me that day—Lily D'Ambrosio, Bronwyn Halfpenny and Frank McGuire, three very engaged local members standing with and for the Turkish community—would also pass on their thanks to Samil.

Also on the weekend I had the opportunity to support the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre at its annual wellness walk at La Trobe University. This centre does extraordinary work. I know that all of my constituents, and people right across Melbourne's north, are indebted to the investment of successive governments, but in particular the former Brumby government, which started off this centre. It's amazing to see the difference it has made not only to individual lives but our sense of purpose and what we value. Thousands of people joined in the wellness walk on the weekend. I was so pleased to be there with Olivia Newton-John, herself; Jenny Macklin, the member for Jagajaga; and Kate Thwaites, Labor's wonderful candidate for Jagajaga; along with so many of our state colleagues. This walk really shows our community at its best, recognising a very significant community facility and celebrating it and celebrating community.