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I had the opportunity to formally congratulate Mount Ridley College year 12 student Dean Ieremia for being awarded the inaugural Arthur Calwell Rising Star Award - an award recognising significant progress and early achievement in a student's professional or community field of endeavour.

As the member for Calwell, an electorate with one of the largest Muslim communities in Australia I have spoken many times about my culturally diverse multifaith electorate and I've spoken about the aspirations and tribulations of both the established and emerging migrant and refugee communities who live in my electorate.

I spoke in Parliament this week on brain health and the great work being done at the Sunshine Hospital in Melbourne's west, which services a number of my constituents.

Professor Tissa Wijeratne, who is the chair of World Brain Day and heads up the Department of Neurology at Sunshine Hospital, hopes and aims to see the western suburbs of Melbourne become the nation's capital for migraine research, with the establishment of a national centre of excellence in the heart of the Melbourne's west.

I talked in Parliament about the annual presentation night of the Upfield Soccer Club. I took to the floor, as I do each year, with Club President Wally Hanna, Club Manager Hani Pito and special guest Hakeem Al-Araibi, to hand out trophies to our players.

I spoke in Parliament about the barriers faced by many of my constituents in gaining meaningful employment. I focused on those constituents with Iraqi and Syrian backgrounds who have settled in Calwell on the special humanitarian visa. This is a very highly skilled cohort with extensive work experience in their professional fields.

Citizenship under this government is one of almost selective discrimination. It's either incompetence or it's deliberate, but the actual slowing down of the process has marred the citizenship process.

 

Many of my constituents are frustrated by the delays in the citizenship process. Some of them have been waiting for as much as 35 months. Many of them have fled war-torn countries. They're grateful to be here in Australia. They're grateful for the safety and the security that settling in our country offers them. They're grateful for the ability to live in a democratic country and for the opportunities afforded to them.

They want to be able to share our freedoms and obligations in a way that's equal to the other people in the community as an Australian citizen.

Thank you to Tony Zappia MP for raising this important motion on citizenship delays in Parliament.

Education is the building block to every Australian's life. It's what gives us the ability to function and contribute in our modern society and to build or nation's social cohesion and prosperity. Without access to an affordable and relevant education system, my generation, at a critical time in our post-Second World War nation-building, may never have realised its full potential and therefore gone on to make the contribution it has made. Affordable education and the opportunities it affords were vital for my generation, and it's absolutely important and vital to our generation today.

In June this year, a very important health advocacy group was launched by my constituent Agnes Nsofwa and I was absolutely honoured as the Federal Member of Calwell to officially launch the Australian Sickle Cell Advocacy Inc at the Royal Children’s Hospital.