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Monday, 13 February 2017
Page: 849

Mr HILL (Bruce) (16:16): 'Xin nian kuai le', 'Gong xi fa cai' and 'Da jia hao'—these phrases which mean 'May you have a prosperous New Year', 'Happy New Year' and 'Hello, everybody' are ones which more and more Australians have heard in the last few weeks. I rise to acknowledge the Chinese New Year or the Lunar New Year, which is widely celebrated in my electorate of Bruce. I have attended many fantastic community celebrations in Springvale, Dandenong and Glen Waverley, welcoming the Year of the Rooster—a year of energy and excitement. It is a chance to reflect with family and friends on the year gone and the year ahead.

I think it is especially interesting, as I reflect on my time attending high school—last century it was, now—in the northern part of my electorate that Chinese New Year, at that point, was not a mainstream thing but a fringe thing that happened over in the corner. But it is now firmly part of the mainstream Australian community. It is a great thing that people can remember their identity, language and culture and celebrate that while they integrate, not assimilate, to life in Australia. I also think it is fantastic for Australia's future in Asia that we encourage a society where people can learn culture and languages and use those skills and networks to our benefit.

It is a wonderful thing how many Chinese Australians have chosen to become citizens and great citizens of our country. I congratulate Vincent Chow in particular and Daniel Cheng on their role in organising community celebrations. Xie xie.