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Caption: With the Honourable Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Phillip Ruddock MP, Chief Government Whip, at the Annual Chinatown Walk
Kung Hai Fat Choi!
As Federal Member for Barton, it was my honour to attend many functions and ceremonies in honour Chinese New Year: the year of the horse.
Over the past decade or two, the way that the community of Barton celebrates Chinese New YEar has gone from strength to strength. In 2014 we continued in the same spirit of excitement that we’ve always enjoyed across the years.
Celebrating Lunar New Year is always an occasion for good cheer as we wish luck and prosperity to our friends and family. This year was no exception and we had a magnificent series of events and performances lined up for the enjoyment of the whole community.
Of particular enjoyment to myself and the local community was the Kogarah City Council Chinese New Year Festival at Jubilee Oval in which I played soccer as a Kogarah City Councillor as well as speaking to the crowd. More than a thousand people attended.
In addition, I enjoyed the morning tea celebration at Kingsgrove Community Aid Centre led ably by Anne Farrah-Hill and loved the traditional performances and the arrival of the ancient Chinese God of Wealth. Countless other events occurred within the community and in Sydney, including a memorable Chinese New Year walk alongside the Honourable Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Phillip Ruddock MP, Chief Government Whip.
Walking through our city streets, I am always reminded of the vibrancy and diversity of our city of Kogarah and our whole electorate of Barton. We have cause to be proud of the way we live together in peace and camaraderie. We have cause to be proud of the strong ethnic communities of which we are part, because they add such colour and life to the area. This city is a living embodiment of a cultural melting pot.
Chinese culture is such a major component of this area and I am sure we would all agree that the cultural gifts brought to the Australian community by Chinese migrants have become indispensable to our way of life as a diverse, interesting and prosperous nation. The ethos and values of the Chinese community – resourcefulness, diligence, kindness and humility – have enriched our area.
As Member for Barton, a mayor for six years and a councillor for fourteen, I have enjoyed a longstanding friendship with the Chinese community. As your Federal member, I have Chinese-speaking staff in my office so my door is always open to Chinese constituents.
The Chinese have been a beacon to the world in seeking ways to make their lives and their nation more efficient, successful and accomplished. In the same way, we should all seek to better ourselves.
It is fantastic that so many people from our community came out in force to celebrate Lunar New Year as a community.