Thursday, 4 February 2021
Oxley Electorate: Australia Day
Australia is made up of people from many cultures and backgrounds, representing nations from all around the world. The values shown to each and every member of our society through mutual respect and care unite us as a nation. I am proud to represent the electorate of Oxley, in the south-west of Brisbane and Ipswich suburbs, as it reflects the diversity of our nation, with around 50,000 people born overseas.
On 26 January, Australia Day, I was honoured to attend a number of citizenship ceremonies around the Oxley electorate and welcome people from across the globe into our Australian family. I want to make special mention today of all the organisers, volunteers and community groups that help run our citizenship ceremonies. These unsung heroes are the people who give up their public holiday, don't take the day off, and give back to so many in our community to welcome so many people to our community.
The early ceremony I attended was hosted by the Jindalee Rotary Club, a terrific Rotary club that does so much great work not just on Australia Day but right throughout the year. I joined our state member for Mount Ommaney, Jess Pugh, and the local councillor for the Jamboree Ward, Councillor Sarah Hutton, at the Jindalee Bowls Club, where we heard the inspirational story of guest speaker Duku Fore. A big thank you to Margaret Tiller—I think one of the best MCs going—Scott Taylor and the entire Jindalee Rotary Club for another Australia Day to remember.
The events that followed included a ceremony at the mighty Blue Fin Fishing Club, a ceremony hosted by Inala Lions Club—a club that I am proud to be a member of—and officiated by local councillor Charles Strunk. I want to recognise Les Josiah, John Moynihan and former councillor Les Bryant, who offered their support for the day. In the afternoon I joined Ipswich City Council Mayor Teresa Harding, Councillor Sheila Ireland, state member Jim Madden and my friend and colleague Shayne Neumann MP to celebrate many more new citizens to the Ipswich and surrounding districts. Later in the afternoon, I joined Councillor Nicole Johnston, Councillor Steve Griffith and hundreds of locals at Club Oxley, a great local bowls club, who each year—and now in its 10th year—put on a big family fun day for Australia Day. It's a pool party on the green at the bowls club. It is one of the biggest events in my calendar. Thank you to all the volunteers, and welcome to all of those new citizens calling Australia home. We welcome you and we love having you in the Oxley electorate.