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Thursday, 19 June 2014
Page: 6774

Mr KEENAN (StirlingMinister for Justice) (09:33): I recently had the opportunity to visit the Quan The Am Buddhist Association in my electorate of Stirling. I met with the venerable nuns and also the temple representative, Mr Binh Loc. The Buddhist centre does some excellent work within the electorate by assisting people through their counselling services, English lessons and meditation classes. The centre also offers free meals to the homeless and to families who are struggling to make ends meet. The organisation does a wonderful job providing basic services for those who need them the most in our community.

When I first met with representatives at the temple during the celebration of Ullambana Day, they were delivering all their classes using a whiteboard. They indicated to me at the time they were in dire need of electronic equipment to assist them with their service presentations. That is why I am pleased that I have secured a $2,000 funding grant for the centre to purchase a new laptop, screen and projector to use during the variety of classes they run. The contribution the association makes in our local area is invaluable and it was a great pleasure to be able to assist in their good work through this funding grant.

I recently also had the pleasure of meeting with Mr Graham McKenzie-Smith and Mr Robert Gianatti from the Royal Australian Engineers Association of Western Australia to confirm that the coalition government was approving their $3,000 grant application as part of their Saluting Their Service program. The organisation received a grant to help publish Mr McKenzie-Smith's book Sappers in the West: Army Engineers in Western Australia 1851-2012. Mr McKenzie-Smith spent a long time researching material for this book, including at the Australian War Memorial here in Canberra. I was pleased to read a copy of the draft book and to gain some excellent insight into the important role that Army engineers have played in Western Australian military history.

The Saluting Their Service initiative aims to honour the sacrifice and service of Australian service men and women in wars, conflict and peace operations. This book will help to promote an appreciation and understanding of the role that those who served have played in shaping our nation. With the Anzac Centenary year approaching next year, the publishing of this book is an excellent contribution to documenting Western Australia's history. I would like to congratulate Mr McKenzie-Smith on that achievement.

It is a great privilege to be able to help both of these worthy community organisations who contribute so much to my community of Stirling in different ways. I would like to thank both the Quan The Am Buddhist Association and the Royal Australian Engineers Association of Western Australia for the invaluable contributions they have made to my electorate of Stirling.