House debates

Thursday, 9 March 2023

Statements by Members


1:32 pm

Photo of Rowan RamseyRowan Ramsey (Grey, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Only a couple of days ago I had the privilege to attend a Friends of Ukraine event here in Parliament House, hosted by Senators Catryna Bilyk and David Van. We had Ambassador Vasyl Myroshnychenko, who is a very impassioned man, give a great explanation of where they are at the moment in this terrible war with Russia. We were also privileged to have the co-chairs of the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations, Stefan Romaniw and Kateryna Argyrou.

It was Kateryna's address that particularly moved us. She spoke of her grandparents in Ukraine at the moment, living in a 13-storey apartment block on the 10th floor with no electricity, no gas, no water and no lift. They're 85 years old. Her mother is dodging air-raid sirens to try to fit some shopping in, and six of her family members are fighting on the front against the Russian invasion—none of whom were soldiers 12 months ago. For her, every day is a struggle to know how they are going and what we can do in Australia to help. It was wonderful; we had a good roll-up, and it showed that every corner of this parliament and the nation supports Ukraine.