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Monday, 2 March 2015
Page: 1618


Mr LAUNDY (Reid) (13:43): I had a day on Saturday in my electorate which I think typifies why this country is so great. In the morning I was with the Auburn City Council rededicating the war memorial as the kick-off to our Centenary of Anzac celebrations. The war memorial was built in 1922, and it has a particularly special place in Auburn because the mayor of Auburn was actually killed at Gallipoli.

Come some 100 years later as we celebrate. That night I joined the Turkish community at the fundraiser for their aged-care facility. In 1982 the Turkish community had such numbers in Auburn that they built the Gallipoli mosque. It is the largest mosque in the Southern Hemisphere, and that shows you the strength of friendship that has developed over those 100 years. We originally went to Turkey in 1915 and faced off as enemies, and some 100 years later we sit in a suburb of Auburn and live as neighbours and friends.

Dr Abdurrahman, the president of the mosque, and his committee are to be substantially congratulated on the function that they put on and their vision for their community. They raised vital funds that night. They will deliver an aged-care facility—I have spoken in this House on the importance of multicultural aged care before.

I want to finish with the words of Ataturk, the great visionary, who set up modern Turkey, that the sons of those who died at Gallipoli would be their sons. Now we have their brothers and sisters with us some 100 years later.