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Thursday, 4 December 2003
Page: 24036


Ms VAMVAKINOU (9:40 AM) —I want to speak today about the strong sense of pride that is steadily building around the working class suburb of Broadmeadows—or `Broady', as it is affectionately known locally—a suburb at the centre of the city of Hume in my electorate of Calwell. You can compare Broadmeadows to suburbs such as Bankstown in Sydney or Inala in Brisbane. Like these suburbs, it has evolved over time and has changed from a strong Anglo-Celtic community to one that now represents a microcosm of multicultural Australia. Broadmeadows has a history of struggle, honourable labour and now, more importantly, a strong sense of community pride. It has been a gateway for new Australians and has welcomed and settled over the years Greeks, Italians, Maltese, British and, more recently, Vietnamese, Turkish, Lebanese and Iraqis. Some 40 per cent of Broadmeadows residents speak a language other than English at home, with over 130 different languages represented in the area.

The fierce pride which locals hold for Broady was evident during a recent controversy instigated by some who suggested it was time to change the name of Broadmeadows in order to alter what they believed was a negative preconceived image. Adding to the outrage felt by the locals is an advertising campaign currently run by Tattersalls which seeks to trade on those preconceived images in order to sell its lottery products. People—in this case, Tattersalls—who run expensive campaigns that trade on old stereotypes for their self-interest are doing a great disservice to the pride felt by the people living in the Broadmeadows community.

The community of Broadmeadows has evolved over the years. Although it has retained much of its traditional demographic, it now boasts an exciting and dynamic nature. Broadmeadows is known as a place that takes care of its own. The community works closely together, collectively meeting life's challenges. Whether it is the corporate sector or the volunteer networks, all work hand in hand to build a better community. Broadmeadows has had its difficulties. It has also had its successes and success stories. As Age reporter Michelle Griffin noted recently in an article entitled `A history of social stigma and success stories', Broadmeadows still has poverty and inequity but the community deals with it together as friends and neighbours.

That is something that we are all very proud of. People born and bred in Broady have never felt anything but pride in coming from Broadmeadows. From Eddie and Frank McGuire, John Ilhan of Crazy John's mobiles fame, champion veteran power lifter and former Victorian Senior of the Year Sonja Rutherford, ABC broadcaster Francis Leach and former Age editor Bruce Guthrie to Judge Irene Lawson of the Victorian County Court and Australian Rules footy icon Bruce Doull, Broady has and will continue to have its share of success stories, whether they be lawyers, doctors or entrepreneurs. But it will always treasure the generations of honourable working people who have built successful families and futures for their children.