Federal Labor Member for Calwell, Maria Vamvakinou welcomed funding from the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon Michael Ronaldson, for local projects to commemorate this year’s Centenary of ANZAC.Ms Vamvakinou said so far the following organisations had been allocated a combined total of $90,415.00 under the Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program (ACLGP), with a further 5 grants still waiting for approval.
* Keilor Historical Society, $25,000, to undertake the production of a book and DVD to raise awareness about the names on the World War 1 honour roll at Keilor.*Turkish Sub-Branch of the Victorian RSL, $10,000, to construct an Australian-Turkish Friendship Memorial Sculpture.*The Australian Chaldean Federation of Victoria, $28,500, to produce booklets and DVDs to commemorate the Anzac Centenary amongst their community.*The Greek- Australian Recreational and Instructive League of Victoria, $14,950 to produce a theatrical production, book and DVD to raise awareness about the Anzacs.*The Flynn Group,$12,000, to host a commemorative event called “Snapshot from a War”.
“This year’s 2015 Centenary of ANZAC is an important occasion to remember and commemorate the sacrifices made by many Australian men and women to defend and protect our way of life,” Ms Vamvakinou said. These local projects which have been reviewed and approved by the Calwell Anzac Centenary Local Grant Committee, will assist and allow our local community to remember this important occasion”, Ms Vamvakinou said.
I want to take this opportunity this evening to refer to the Victorian election result and reflect on what an Andrews-led Labor government will now mean for the people of my electorate. First, I would like to congratulate Daniel Andrews and his team on their wonderful victory on Saturday night, and I certainly look forward to working with them for the benefit not only of Victorians but also of my electorate in particular.The Victorian state election was as much a judgement on the federal budget as it was on the four years of a state coalition government which effectively saw policies and measures taken that hurt Victorians generally and provided little or no support to the many people and families who live in my electorate. In fact, I well remember that, upon coming to office four years ago, the now former coalition state Liberal government stripped away from my electorate $30 million that had been allocated and budgeted for by the previous Brumby Labor government for the redevelopment of the Broadmeadows train station centre. This was a bad omen indeed for my constituents, and, unfortunately, it did not get any better for them, as our local families and communities were largely ignored by the Baillieu and Napthine governments.
In moving this motion, I want to first acknowledge that in 1977 the United Nations declared 29 November the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. I also want to acknowledge that 2014 has been declared as the United Nations Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.I want to remind the House that it has been 67 years since the partition of Palestine and the occupation, which continues until today—an occupation that is devastating, demoralising and damaging for all involved. The time has now come for this to end. Australia, and indeed this parliament, must now recognise the state of Palestine. Australia must vote yes at the UN for Palestinian Statehood. Fifty six per cent of Australians are in favour of this and 135 countries have already done so.In his message for the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon affirmed that:We have passed through another sombre, sad and sorry year for Palestinians, Israelis and all who seek peace. Over the course of 50 brutal days this summer, the world witnessed a ruthless war in Gaza — the third such conflict in six years.
I begin by commending the member for Swan for bringing this motion to the House, and I full well remember his very important speech five years ago to this chamber. So I would like to begin by acknowledging that it has been five years since the then Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, delivered a national apology to the forgotten Australians and former child migrants. Around half a million people were affected by this terrible chapter of Australian history—people who, as children, were separated from their families, raised in institutions and deprived of love, of basic health care, of educational opportunities, and of a sense of security and self worth. So many of them suffered much worse than deprivation; they were physically, sexually and emotionally abused. The national apology did not and never could completely heal the deep and longstanding wounds of the forgotten Australians, but hopefully it began a slow process of ensuring that they would no longer be forgotten.