I raised the concerns my constituents have with the Government's budget, and budgets of the past in Parliament.

This Budget fails my community; it fails the fairness test; it fails middle Australia and if fails the most vulnerable in my community. Most importantly, it fails Calwell.

My constituent Wendy Dyckhoff was the victim of awful childhood abuse while growing up in a number of different institutions in Victoria. Now, she's a hard working advocate for the local forgotten Australians - a wonderful woman who always gives to us and our community despite her own personal grief and experiences.

I spoke in Parliament on the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, known to the Palestinians as the day of catastrophe, which refers to the uprooting and expulsion of some 750,000 Palestinian refugees from their normal place of residence in Palestine during the period from 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948. 

In March this year, the NDIS began rolling out in my electorate, giving my constituents the long awaited opportunity to finally access the scheme. They will join Thousands of others across the north western region of Melbourne who will be required to submit their care packages for approval, for some however already engaged in that process, it is already proving a source of anxiety and frustration.

I was delighted to announce the following grants for local community groups under Round 3 of the Federal Stronger Communities Programme to my Calwell community groups and to formally acknowledge the ten recipients of this grant, and pay tribute to the important work they do in Calwell in building, developing and fostering strong communities in my speech in Parliament.

On 8 March, I celebrated International Women's Day with a wonderful group of women in my electorate. It was held at the Good Samaritan Catholic Primary School, who also co-hosted the event with the Roxburgh Park Football Club.

On March 24, World Tuberculosis Day was commemorated, and the theme of this year's World Tuberculosis Day is 'Wanted: leaders for a TB-free world'. This will of course allow for a focus on building an international commitment to end TB.

I joined hundreds of Iraqi parishioners in recognising the efforts of the young Iraqi students as a special service led by Father Maher Gurges at St Georges Chaldean Catholic Church in Campbellfield. There, Father Maher told the faithful “we are producing a new generation of doctors, lawyers, architects, teachers here in our new homeland”.


The Iraqi community has settled in well in our local community and are busy building lives and nurturing the next generation of Australians of Iraqi heritage.