June Yerrabi Yap 2022

Madam Speaker, this will be my first Yerrabi yap in a little while so it will be a tough job highlighting absolutely everything that my team and the Gungahlin community has been up to.

Yerrabi folks have responded to much of the work in this place with enthusiasm and passion these past couple of months. For instance, my office has received positive feedback on the  consultation process for some play space upgrades at Ngunnawal Park and for a brand-new recreation park in Casey. I am pleased to report that both projects have received a high volume and diversity of feedback which I have passed on to the Minister and is currently under review by City Services. I understand they will also be releasing What We Heard Reports for both projects in the coming months which I am looking forward to reading.

My office has also been promoting opportunities for individuals and community groups within Yerrabi to, whenever possible, participate in the inquires and drafting processes taking place at the assembly. I’ve spoken at length in this place about the Carers Recognition Act and what passing it at the end of last year meant to me, my family, and the community. So, I won’t labour the point except to express my gratitude towards the individuals and groups from my own electorate who made up a significant block of contributors to the Bill’s construction.

I also wish to note, again not for the first time, the truly extensive, comprehensive, and overwhelmingly positive response my office has received since releasing the Period Products Access Bill Exposure Draft. I’m happy to say that individuals and groups from within Yerrabi are also well represented in this response. Indeed, it has been quite touching to see Yerrabi’s overall compassionate and thoughtful character so clearly on display upon even a cursory review of the feedback.

Madam Speaker, I’d also like to take this opportunity to speak on just some of the many community-organised events I’ve been privileged to attend these past couple of months.

While the issue of Period Poverty is still fresh on our minds, I think I’ll start with Share the Dignity’s DigniTEA event which was held last month in Canberra alongside 11 DigniTEAs over 5 weeks in celebration of their first Menstrual May and in support of their ongoing work fighting period poverty. Share the Dignity’s work on developing the Period Pride report remains a crucial resource for the ongoing work happening both within and outside of this place, so it is always a delight to cultivate this collaborate relationship both as member for Yerrabi.

This would not be a complete Yerrabi Yap without reference to Indian Australian Multicultural Sports Association, or IAMSA, who hosted Pink Stumps Day and the Independence Day Cup at Bonner Oval in February: both events which at this point I am confident describing as Yerrabi institutions. Congratulations IAMSA, parents and athletes for the for the continued commitment to local sporting culture.

Another notable Yerrabi event I’d like to flag was the AusIndia Fair and Harmony Day Celebration hosted by FINACT back in April. Activities included Yoga sessions, tug of war, stalls, cultural programs and even a Pop-up COVID-19 Vaccine clinic. The fair’s stated aims of promoting harmony; bringing communities together; celebrating diversity; and providing an opportunity to safely perform and socialise in-person were clearly a resounding success.

I’ll also flag the Canberra Malayalees Association who organised a brilliant event showcasing a variety of cultural programs with a healthy number of participants last Saturday. The very next Sunday my office and the Friends of Grasslands hosted a tree-planting day at Budjan Galindji (Franklin Grasslands). Despite fast icy wind, soggy ground and the constant threat of rain, locals still turned up and optimistically and made a day of it. The rain held off and we ran out of seedlings faster than anticipated so were able to knock off early for a well-earned lunch. We planted 400 seedlings all together which in my opinion isn’t bad at all for about 2 hours work and is frankly a testament to the deep regard locals have for Yerrabi’s precious natural environment.

Finally, I’d like to wrap up this yap by thanking ATN for their invite and their efforts in organising a very successful first aid training event for migrant women who otherwise may not have had the opportunity by way of schooling or since migrating to Australia. The event was very well attended and everyone there was super engaged and having a great time. I’d like to commend ATN for organising this initiative. For those of us who’ve been privileged to access this training at school, through work or other activities, first aid skills and training for migrant communities might not immediately present as an obvious issue to address.

However, its absence absolutely does present a real challenge during an emergency when it counts the most. On that note, I’ll finish up by reinforcing my sincere gratitude for and appreciation of ATN’s work in this space and convey my best wishes for all similar events they might also organise moving forward.