Ms VAMVAKINOU (Calwell) (16:50): I rise today to speak 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. They lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict.

I am so fortunate to have the very talented young sportswoman - and  Local Sporting Champions grant recipient - Monique Conti in my electorate.

Monique is just 18 years old, but she has already reached the elite levels of not one but two sports.  A month ago, Monique played in her debut game for the Western Bulldogs in the Australian Football League’s Women’s competition, and she put in a terrific performance too.  And just before that, she played in a Women’s National Basketball League grand final for the Melbourne Boomers.

Above: Monique Conti.

The Parliamentary Friends of Palestine will be hosting a screening of the feature documentary 'From Under the Rubble' at Parliament House, Canberra on May 22. The event will be sponsored by the General Delegation of Palestine to Australian, New Zealand and the Pacific.

Two friends Yalcin Adal and Stavros Protz visited Parliament House to meet with Members and Senators of the Australian Parliament to promote Journey into Cyprus - their 16 day walk in March for a free and united Cyprus. The journey is inspired by the idea of a united Cyprus, one wherein the conflict between the Turkish North and the Greek South of the Island has come to an end.

They first met Mr Anthony Albanese MP, Vice-Chair of the Australia - Cyprus Parliamentary Friends Group and myself; Mr Albanese was very supportive of the Journey into Cyprus walk, and led a moving meeting with the Members of the Cyprus Friends Group in the afternoon. 

Above: Yalcin Adal and Stavros Protz with the Australia / Cyprus Parliamentary Friends Group. 

The Arthur Calwell Memorial Lecture is on again in 2018. This year's lecture will be held on Wednesday 16 May, at the Kangan Institute in Broadmeadows at 6:15pm for a 7:00pm start. The guest speaker at this event is Luke Hilakari, Secretary, Victorian Trades Hall Council.

This year’s speech will focus on Arthur Calwell’s early years in the union movement and how it shaped him politically and motivated him when he became the leader of the Australian Labor Party. It will also feature a discussion on Calwell’s contribution and lasting legacy to multicultural Australia through his post-WWII migration program to Australia.

I am so proud of Roxburgh Park Football Club, in my electorate of Calwell who were awarded with Victoria's Good Sports Club of the Year for 2017.

The community driven football club received this award for their commitment to creating a healthier, family-friendly and safe environment for its members.

This morning, I celebrated the cultural diversity of the women of Calwell at this year's International Women's Day event.

The event - co-hosted with the Good Samaritan Primary School and Roxburgh Park Football Club - celebrated the newly arrived migrants and refugee women who have settled in the area; paid tribute to the migrant women who have mentored the women into the community and recognised the tireless efforts of community workers in welcoming these women and their families to their new home.

I was honoured to stand alongside the Leader of the Opposition the Hon Bill Shorten MP in welcoming 150 new citizens to the wider Australian family at Brimbank City Council's 2018 Citizenship Ceremony on Australia Day. 

It was wonderful to witness so many committed people making a pledge to our modern and multicultural country at the Kevin Wheelahan Gardens in Sunshine last Friday.