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Thursday, 13 February 2014
Page: 447

Mr THISTLETHWAITE (Kingsford Smith) (09:48): I wish to congratulate the La Perouse Aboriginal Local Land Council on 30 years of wonderful service to Aboriginal people and our community. Established on 25 January 1984, the La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council have been promoting the wonderful heritage, culture and history of Aboriginal people in our community. They highlight the connection with that wonderful historic land that is so important to Australia, a connection that dates back 7,000 years as significant heritage and connection with that area. They also provide business and enterprise support services for people in the local community and a number of important social services. They administer the social housing scheme, the Aboriginal cultural heritage protection program, a cultural awareness training program and many conferences and events that promote Aboriginal history and culture.

On 25 January this year, I was fortunate to attend a morning tea at the home of the La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council, the historic Yarra Bay House. It was wonderful to hear the stories the elders—people like Vic Simms, whose family's connection with that land dates back thousands of years. Vic spoke of the significance of the area to his people. He told stories of their fight to maintain their connection with the land, to have their land recognised through land rights and the challenges of establishing an Aboriginal land council and securing the historic Yarra Bay House. He spoke fondly of the work of Frank Walker, the former Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and former member for Robertson in this place.

We also heard from Marcia Ella-Duncan, the chairperson of the La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council, who spoke of her family connection with that land in that area and the significant events that have been part of the history of the land council, most notably the wonderful corroboree that took place on the shores of La Perouse during the bicentennial celebrations.

These are special people; they cherish their connection with our land. They are people who care about our community. They volunteer their time to promote their culture and heritage, and to deliver better services for our community. I am proud to know them. I wish to congratulate and thank the board of the La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council, chaired by Marcia Ella-Duncan, Noeleen Timbery, Donnaleen Campbell, Shannon Field, Raymond Ingrey, Margie Scruse, Alan Daly, Shallan Foster and Jackie Puckeridge, and also the CEO, Chris Ingrey.