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Monday, 3 March 2014
Page: 1306

Mr THISTLETHWAITE (Kingsford Smith) (13:34): Yesterday I had the great privilege of attending the inaugural Aboriginal markets and workshops at the historic Bare Island in our community. The markets are an initiative of the First Hand Solutions Aboriginal Corporation to raise funds for Aboriginal community youth programs and to revive La Perouse as a historic Aboriginal tourist destination.

Hundreds of locals and tourists joined local Bidjigal elders for a traditional smoking ceremony and dance performance to open the markets. Patrons then entered the historic island fort where the markets are situated. There were a number of stalls for people to visit. One of the stallholders was Laddie Timbery, whose family have been selling artefacts at the Loop at La Perouse for 188 years—surely one of the oldest businesses in Australia.

Workshops included spear making, basket weaving and shell design. There was plenty for the kids to do, with reptiles provided by the famous local Cann family—George Cann and his son John were once the local snake men; they provided plenty of entertainment for the kids. The markets are on the first Sunday of every month at Bare Island from 9 am to 4 pm, and I encourage any visitors to Sydney to get down and visit this historic, significant event. I congratulate Peter Cooley, Sarah Martin and the board and volunteers of First Hand Solutions.