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Caption: Nick Varvaris MP with teachers of the Academy of Chinese Culture; colleague David Coleman MP, Federal Member for Banks; and NSW Member for Oatley, Mr Mark Coure.
The Academy of Chinese Culture is providing fantastic services to the local community in keeping Chinese culture alive, particularly in the arts of language and poetry.
It was a real honour for me to attend their event to celebrate their success at the Australian National Chinese Eisteddfod.
It fulfils a dual purpose: it perpetuates the artistic treasures of the ancient Chinese culture through poetry and it produces strong communal links in the community, who can enjoy themselves together as they learn an art.
Performing in front of a crowd is an activity that brings with it considerable merit on an aesthetic and social level.
Furthermore, performing a complex work of poetry in unison and memorising the words of poetry, especially at such a young age, requires a sense of discipline and personal commitment to excellence which is most worthy of congratulations.
Dr Lin should be commended for the immense contribution he has made over the years by giving up his time and effort to teach children the culture and heritage of their forebears.
Indeed, it is through the arts that people form a community in one of the strongest and most enduring ways. The special connection that children share through their Chinese heritage is a special feature of this kind of academy.
I note that the Academy of Chinese Culture received a grant by Kogarah City Council, a grant which pays testimony to the outstanding potential the Academy has for strengthening ties between the community and the milestones it has already achieved in cultural excellence.
I am proud that through my involvement with council I have been able to undertake a level of involvement with cultural schools and institutions such as yours.
I was privileged enough to witness your performance at the Kogarah Lunar New Year Festival in February.
The children that presented were of both senior and junior age groups. Both were confident, consistent and well-educated.
The crowd greatly appreciated the opportunity to witness the results of weeks of dedicated work and application delivered with passion and professionalism. The enthusiasm displayed by Dr Lin and all involved was infectious.
Your achievement at the National Australia Chinese Eisteddfod is a wonderful milestone for the Academy. I pay tribute to the hard work and showmanship of all involved.
Through the work the Academy is doing and the wonderful talent displayed by the children and young adults who have won this award, a significant inter-generational initiative is unfolding in our local area.
As the Federal Member for Barton, I congratulate the winners, Dr Lin, and the entire academy.