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Thursday, 16 February 2017
Page: 1422


Mr COLEMAN (Banks) (12:17): On 31 January I had the pleasure of visiting Cafe 41 at Penshurst for its annual fundraising morning with 3Bridges Community. Of course, 3Bridges is a very important organisation in my electorate, providing a whole range of services to kids, to the elderly, to people in the Chinese-Australian community and to many other groups. It was great to see 3Bridges and Cafe 41 coming together for this fundraising morning and to share a cup of tea with Rosemary Bishop, the CEO of 3Bridges, and Barry Gallagher, the director of operations. I would also like to congratulate Meega Jeon, the owner of Cafe 41, for her hospitality on the day. Funds from the day were donated to 3Bridges' early years support service, which is a program designed to help disadvantaged or vulnerable mums when they first become a mother and are seeking support. Volunteers provide support to those new mums, and 3Bridges, in coordinating this program, provides a very valuable service to our community. Thank you to 3Bridges and thank you also to Cafe 41.

On 4 February, I attended the Vietnamese New Year Tet Festival at Fairfield Showground. It is an event I like to get to every year. It is one of the largest events in Sydney over the whole year—literally tens of thousands of people go to the Tet Festival. This year was a lunar new year. It is the year of the rooster. As always, it was a great event. It was good to see the fireworks display, all of the different cultural activities and the rides that kids were enjoying. One thing the community does every year is highlight the students of Vietnamese background, Australian-Vietnamese students, who have obtained a university entrance rank of 99 or above. The students each year are presented and congratulated in front of a crowd, and I think that is a very nice tradition because it is saying how much the community values education and, frankly, not being shy about shining a light on those who are truly exceptional, which these kids are.

So congratulations to the Vietnamese Community Association in Australia, led by its president, Dr Thang Ha. I would also like to Davy Nguyen, of VCA, for all the work that he does in the Vietnamese community and the broader Australian community.

Last weekend, on 11 February, I attended the Australian Chinese Charity Foundation's Chinese New Year celebration. It was good to be able to represent the Prime Minister on the night. The Australian Chinese Charity Foundation has existed for close to three decades and has raised literally millions of dollars for different charities. This year, the beneficiary was the Immigrant Women's Speakout Association. Close to $40,000 was raised—an extraordinary effort—by the ACCF. Thank you to the chairman of ACCF, Dr Michael Tse; to the many past chairmen who were there on the evening, Hudson Chen,Peter Wong and various others; and to ACCF for your sustained and ongoing contribution to our community.

It is estimated that there are about 120,000 Australians of Shanghainese background—people who trace their family ancestry back to Shanghai and surrounds—living in New South Wales. Recently, it was good to visit the President of the Australian Shanghainese Association, Dr John Zhang, and other members of the association at their clubhouse, which is right in the heart of my electorate, in Padstow. The association was formed back in 1994 and provides great opportunities for people from a Shanghainese background to get together and to talk about issues of importance and also for important economic and cultural exchange between our two nations, with people from the association visiting China and also welcoming delegations from Shanghai as well. The association assists many people in learning English and provides a range of other services, so thank you to all the members of the Australian Shanghainese Association. (Time expired)